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...is a daily British tabloid newspaper, traditionally second only to The Sun in circulation but which has recently been overtaken by the sickeningly awful Daily Mail. It's just reverted (again) to this title rather than the matier The Mirror, and has gone through something of an epiphany since September 11th. The audit bureau of circulation July 2002 figures put The Sun at 3.35m, the Mail at 2.45m, and The Mirror at 2.1m.

Previously just as obsessed with footballers' affairs, Big Brother and the like as all the other tabloids, editor Piers Morgan decided ordinary people had the stomach and desire to read serious news, and has concentrated on publishing proper stories. He and his newspaper have collected numerous awards in the process, including the 'What The Papers Say' Newspaper Of The Year gong. Symbolically, it's dropped it's red masthead in favour of a more sober black number.

It really has got better, as well. When it first started to proclaim its new stance -like all English tabloids, it's constantly blowing its own trumpet and knocking its rivals - I was cynical: I thought it was a short term marketing ploy designed to reel in some fresh readers in the short term before going back to the bad old ways. In fact, it's kept to its word, albeit extremely sanctimoniously at times - it can't stop telling you how serious it is, which gets a little dull - and genuinely seems more interested in real news than celebrity tit-tat. Let's hope it succeeds: it would be encouraging to see it catch up with its infinitely scummier rival The Sun.

It has a generally speaking left wing attitude, and tends to be the most left wing tabloid. It bangs on about how it's left wing but not Tony Blair's lapdog, which is more or less true: sometimes it agrees with the government, sometimes it doesn't. Controversially it campaigned against the bombing in Afghanistan, running a whole bunch of front page articles by John Pilger.

Also home of Scorer, quite possibly the best comic strip about a lothario footballer (named Dave Storry) in the world. Dave scores in every sense: his girlfriends run in alphabetical order. Recently we had a Xena and I can't wait to see what the 'z' girl will be named.

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