Newspaper headlines: Spaceships, steel and David Gest death

Handshake between the Duke of Cambridge and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Image copyright EPA
Image caption A firm grip: India's PM leaves his mark on the Duke of Cambridge

Protocol is out, according to the papers, who report Prince William's apparent "intervention" in the UK steel crisis during an audience with the Indian prime minister.

The Daily Mirror thinks the future king "is serving his country well", adding: "Royal tours must be more than photo opportunities."

The Times is less impressed, saying the move was "far short of the sort of occasions when the duke's father, the Prince of Wales, has raised the plight of industries under threat, such as farming and fishing".

It says the duke was "denied the opportunity" to speak to the boss of Tata Steel himself about the issue, pointing out that Mr Modi has "no direct influence" over the company.

The Daily Express - normally a royal cheerleader - sounds downright cynical. William and Catherine, it believes, "are under pressure to justify the hundreds of thousands of pounds that British taxpayers have spent funding their official visit, but are anxious not to stray too far into politics".

The Express also notes the "impression" Prime Minister Modi left on William, as the picture below shows.


Farewell 'Titch'

News that England and Nottinghamshire cricketer James Taylor has been forced to retire aged 26 because of a rare heart condition appears in every paper.

Several greats of the game praise his talent, which developed in spite of - or perhaps because of - his short stature.

Former England captain Michael Atherton, in the Times, thinks he turned his 5ft 6in frame to his advantage, and it made him "quick on the cut and pull whenever bowlers dropped slightly short, and quicksilver on his feet to challenge spinners from down the pitch".

He was also a potential England captain of the future, Atherton adds, having been "regarded as the type of character around whom good teams are built".

"The man they call Titch proved people wrong in a good-natured way, never tiring of being asked about his height and never appearing touchy when it seemed to fascinate people," agrees Atherton's successor Nasser Hussain, in the Daily Mail.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption James Taylor - known as Titch for obvious reasons - is widely praised by sports writers

The sense in all the papers is of great potential unfulfilled.

"Taylor has always seemed to carry the mantle of promising youngster rather than the highest achiever... a breakthrough always seemed to be just around the corner if only he could hold onto his place, or if only just a little more faith could be shown in him," writes Mike Selvey, in the Guardian.

"We will never know how good he could have been at the highest level," agrees Nick Hoult, in the Daily Telegraph.

But given recent tragedies like the death of Philip Hughes - fatally struck by a ball in 2014 - Hoult finds the positive in Taylor's diagnosis, adding: "There is just relief that he has a future at all."


'Gospel truth'?

Every paper covers the dire prediction issued on Tuesday by the International Monetary Fund about the impact a UK vote to leave the EU would have.

"Rarely does it give such a stark warning to an individual country," says the Financial Times.

It's "a wake-up call for people flirting with a Leave vote," thinks the Daily Mirror. "The risk of chaos is genuine with jobs inevitably jeopardised and prosperity damaged, at least initially."

The Daily Express disagrees, describing it as "hardly surprising" that the IMF, "an international organisation run by bureaucrats", would favour EU membership.

The Daily Mail is also scornful of the IMF's predictive powers. It says George Osborne "gloated just two years ago, when it had admitted it had been wrong to predict that he was leading Britain onto the rocks".

"Why then does he treat the IMF's latest piece of scaremongering as gospel truth?" it asks.

For its part, the Times thinks the most important message from the IMF yesterday was actually about the need for countries "to prepare structural, fiscal and monetary reforms to prevent another economic crash".

"This is a message that Mr Osborne should note if he can be persuaded to focus more on the weakening UK economy and less on the Remain campaign."

'Almost convincing'

As an aside, several sketchwriters have fun with David Miliband's pro-EU intervention on Tuesday.

"Did you know that by voting to leave the EU, you will cause the civilised world to go up in flames? It's true. David Miliband said so," writes Michael Deacon, in the Daily Telegraph.

The elder Miliband was "yelping about arson and apocalypse," Deacon adds, "It was almost exciting."

John Crace, in the Guardian, agrees that "Miliband began not just to make sense but sound almost convincing."

"Where David Cameron always manages to makes the EU sound like a necessary evil... Miliband made the EU sounds like a brilliant triumph of international cooperation. A beacon of light in a troubled world."


Eye-catching headlines

  • Drink too much? Move to Chile - the Times has good news for alcohol enthusiasts as it reports on a study which shows wide variations in recommended limits between countries
  • Homes to be heated with cheese - waste from the cheddar-making process will be used by a green energy plant in Cumbria, the Daily Telegraph reports
  • I can't believe it's not better - we should all eat more butter, according to research quoted in the Sun, as switching to healthy spreads "may increase the risk of early death"

Image copyright Reuters

Gest star

"One half of the oddest odd couples that has ever graced the national stage"- that's how Virginia Blackburn, in the Daily Express, describes David Gest after he was found dead in London.

"David's life was mostly a non-stop quest for fame that included friendship with Michael Jackson, marriage to Liza Minnelli and a reality TV career," writes Caroline Iggulden in the Sun.

Indeed, relatively unknown until that marriage in 2002, it propelled him into the limelight despite lasting only 16 months.

As the Daily Star puts it, Gest "always struggled with his appearance" and went to great lengths to try to change it.

Unfortunately, those efforts only created more problems and the Daily Mirror says "he was criticised for his looks after having much-regretted plastic surgery on the recommendation of childhood friend Jackson".

David Gest won British fans when he came fourth on I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here in 2006, and as the New Day recalls, he described the experience as "the best thing he ever did".

That UK fanbase eventually led him to settle here, making his home in York.

"He certainly loved Britain's weakness for overnight reality TV stars," notes Tom Leonard, in the Daily Mail. "The UK had certainly provided him with a new burst of celebrity long after he had faded from the scene in the US."


Making people click


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Media captionJosie Cox, from the Wall Street Journal, and Pippa Crerar, political correspondent at the London Evening Standard, join the BBC News Channel to review the newspapers.