Papers get personal over contents of Cameron’s flat
Informal picture of Michelle Obama in the Camerons’ flat lifts the lid on life in Downing St
Fleet Street's curtain twitchers have been having a field day after the nation was given a peek into David and Samantha Cameron's Downing Street flat thanks to a picture published on the White House Flickr stream.
The photo (big version here) showed Michelle Obama and the prime minister's wife sitting and chatting on a sofa in the flat above No 11 Downing St where the Camerons have set up home. But that would appear to be the least interesting thing about the picture. Even the mustard-coloured settee (a £1,431 job from Fancy Nancy) has generated more comment, as has the presence of two iPads on the table next to the flat-screen TV (Philips, £400).
However, the two main talking points are the bookshelf and open-plan kitchen in the background of the picture. Among the DVDs on display on the shelves are box sets of American TV series 24 and Desperate Housewives, plus the rather more British Brideshead Revisited. The remastered Star Wars films sit alongside Michael McIntyre live, gangster flick Goodfellas and children's DVDs including SpongeBob SquarePants.
The Complete Works of Shakespeare features in the couple's book collection as do coffee table books including Paris Interiors and an impressive number of cookbooks.
Murray Wardrop in the Telegraph has spent some time scrutinising the contents of the bookshelf in the picture and has come to the conclusion that "David Cameron and his 40-year-old wife have eclectic tastes from both sides of the Atlantic".
He was also impressed by the "clean lines" of the PM's kitchen complete with its "steel fittings and an array of gleaming pots and pans". Among the items on display are a Magimix food processor (priced anywhere between £189 and £499 depending on who you believe), a Dualit toaster (£130) and some impossibly neatly arranged Jamie Oliver saucepans (from £43 at John Lewis).
Predictably it is the Daily Mail that is most excited by the picture, and gives its readers an item-by-item tour of the flat, pricing everything as it goes. Even the bookshelves themselves have been scrutinised, although on its website the paper appears to contradict itself, first claiming they cost £665 from oakdirect.com, but later describing it as an Ikea Leksvig unit, cost: £69.
As for the kitchen, the Mail announces that it would have cost in excess of £25,000 from Roundhouse Design.
Even the Guardian gets in on the act, although it has tried to hide its inquisitiveness under a veil of wry amusement. On its website, readers were asked to take a closer look at the picture and identify the Camerons' belongings.
This being the Guardian, readers claimed to have spotted copies of Mein Kampf and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on the shelves alongside books including the Flavour Thesaurus and Mrs Beeton's Household Management. ·
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