Paper Monitor: Being boring

Yawning basset hounds

A sense of ennui has descended over Fleet Street.

Perhaps it's the change in weather, perhaps it's a post-holiday funk, but the pervasive mood in this morning's newspapers is one of boredom.

In the Daily Mail, columnist Craig Brown seizes on a comment by cricketer Andrew Flintoff that he regarded an Ian Rankin novel as "the dullest book ever".

"This suggests," drawls the laconic Brown, "Flintoff has yet to read an awful lot of much duller books".

To assist the ex-England captain, selects some especially tedious passages from recent tomes (most of them celebrity autobiographies).

These include as account of former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey accidentally picking up the Queen Mother's wine glass ("It was an amusing moment, which delighted both her and the national Press," recalls Carey), a shopping list exhaustively reproduced in Hunter Davies' The John Lennon Letters - "1. Nail polish remover. 2. Cat food (back to variations)" - and, best of all, the following diary entry by Keith Richards' dated 11 February 1963: "Day off. Dead bored."

The notion of Keef as a proto-Adrian Mole is an amusing one, but if even he is making headlines by being boring, it does not augur well for the excitement levels in the rest of the papers.

In the Sun, even notorious hellraiser Jack Nicholson claims to have quietened down.

"I'm still wild at heart but I've hit bio-gravity," the actor sighs. "I can't hit on women in public any more. I didn't decide this, it just doesn't feel right at my age."

With the spirit of rock 'n' roll well and truly extinguished, Paper Monitor is going to spend the rest of the day attending to dull yet necessary tasks, such as bleeding the radiators.

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