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Friday, 5 July, 2002, 17:31 GMT 18:31 UK
Amazing tales from Planet Tabloid
This week, keeping fit the royal way, giant rams, and our caption competition. But first...

Burning issue of the week:

Q: Is George Michael's new song just the best political statement ever? [The Mirror]

A: No! Not only is it utter drivel, it might just sink the ageing Wham star's career. [The Sun]

video clip
Dubya's poodle in George Michael's video
Now normally the Burning Issue of the Week is merely a device to kick off the week's festivities on Planet Tabloid. But this week Gorgeous George's latest offering deserves more than a passing glance. Because it is rubbish.

Judge for yourself. Here's a snippet of the lyrics, printed as part of the Mirror's enthusiastic puff piece for the sorry exercise.

Nine nine nine gettin' jiggy
People did you see that fire in the city?
It's like we're getting fresh out of democratic
Gotta get yourself a little something semi-automatic, yeah

Honestly, what was he thinking? George told the Mirror that for years he has been banging on at dinner parties about the state of the world, but never had the confidence until 11 September to put politics into his music.

George Michael lacking confidence? Just think what might have been...

Beware of the animals

Planet Tabloid regulars know by now never fully to trust any member of the animal kingdom. For non-regulars, we believe they are stealthily staging a take-over of us mere humans.

So news this week that cats are actually extortionists and a ram has grown to the size of man - and a fairly hefty one at that - will come as no surprise.

Rolf harris fans at Glastonbury
Ee-gads! Kangeroos take over Glastonbury
At 5ft long and weighing in a whopping21 stone, Richard the Woolly Rammoth quite put his shearer off the task of harvesting his mighty fleece.

"He took one look and said he didn't do Clydesdale horses," said John Wilson, Richard's "owner". Now he plans to put Richard out to stud to breed a race of super-rams. Don't do it, man!

Perhaps to fund their eventual take-over, cats are fleecing their "owners" out of an average of 192 a year. That means that a woman who has a cat spends three times more on the pampered puss than on chocolate.

But some of us are getting wise to the threat. The Sun has revealed that a gang of tiny tots turned the tables on a swan.

Admittedly it was a man in a swan suit, but nevertheless the young 'uns smelt danger and set to with inflatable hammers. The victim, known as Captain Swantastic, told the tab: "I was black and blue. One of the little ones slipped under my wings and booted my shins." Full marks for vigilance, children.

Pun update

Which one of these Henman related-puns is a pure fiction? No, we'll rephrase that. Which one of these Henman-related puns didn't actually appear in Her Majesty's Press this week?

a) Hengland Expects
b) Hew can do it, Timbo
c) Timorous Henman
d) Egg Hen On

Answers in the usual fashion please. (It's d.)

Caption competition

Remember last week's competition to devise a witty caption for this photograph taken at the G8 summit? How could you forget, you obviously spent... ooh... seconds thinking about it. Here are the best of a bad lot.

5. The world's leaders ponder the burning issue of the day: "G... er, say what's that number after 7?"
(Mike Hutchinson)

4. Putin and Bush attempt to discern which key the G8 Official Barbershop Sextet is attempting to sing in

3. GM food fine, say G8 leaders
(Alisdair Gillespie)

2. So it is possible to be a successful leader of a puppet state
(Lol Lambert)

1. Hayfever takes its toll and G8 summit takes place outside as world leaders struggle to fit through entrance
(Andrew Nicholson)

Needless to say, no prizes.

We now invite you to do the same - or indeed better - for this week's caption, showing the Iron Lady before and after she lost her marble head.

Your caption

Your name

Results next week. Advice to competitors: Think then type. Not the other way around.

Planet Lifestyle

Animals, establishment figures.... it all leads us neatly into this week's missive from the glamorous world of Planet Lifestyle, where the broadsheet lifestyle commentators rule.

Looking pretty and feeling fine is something of an obsession on PL, so it is with some excitement that we can relay the news that polo is the new Pilates (or is it the new Bikram yoga? Soooo hard to keep up).

Princes playing polo
Bend and stretch like the royals do
Anyway, the world's most exclusive sport is a great workout, gushes the Sunday Times Style magazine. And it's getting cheaper too!

For the cost of a personal trainer, even first-time riders can saddle up as clubs introduce pay-as-you-play classes.

"Polo will give you fantastic strength and suppleness in muscles that are sometimes hard to reach with weights or machines," enthuses one trainer.

Then you too can have a body like Prince Charles. Bring on the pretty ponies!

Keep your eyes peeled for strange happenings on Planet Tabloid or Planet Lifestyle, and inform the authorities by submitting them with the form below.

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