'If it's free versus 50 pence, then free is going to win'

On day one of London's free newspaper battle residents of the capital were broadly upbeat about Associated Newspapers' new daily London Lite.

Press Gazette talked to a cross-section of Londoners on Wednesday lunchtime.

And while we found little real enthusiasm for the new title, most had something good to say about it.

Whether they are still reading it on Monday when News International launches its free daily thelondonpaper remains to be seen.

Federico Mirarchi, 20, student "It's colourful — it seems full of gossip. I used to pick up the Standard Lite and I like that, it has puzzles such as Sudoku — that's a good part of it. At first glance it doesn't seem to have a lot of advertising in it — most free newspapers have a lot of advertising in them.

"I get Time Out for free and I use it for weekly listings, so I don't really need this."

Vittorio Frittelli, 43, magazines distributor "I work in Oxford Street a lot, so there's not much to do but read papers. I never buy a newspaper and find I don't need to, because I can get all my news from the television and the free papers.

"I think on first impressions it's very good — nothing is perfect and there's room for improvement — but it's very difficult to make it perfect.

"It's good that it starts with the weather and lottery results."

Adenilso Santos, 25, student "I buy the Evening Standard, which it looks similar to.

I picked it up because it had Kylie on the cover — I'm interested in celebrity so it's good to have that mix inside. It's good that it's not only about bad news, but also a dose of entertainment.

"The listings look good, but sometimes there's just too much information.

I'm more interested in employment and jobs listings, which the free papers such as Metro are good for."

Christine Kallod, 27, online advertising manager "It seems quite light, with short articles, big headlines and a lot of photos — it's definitely a lunchtime read.

"It's not really serious journalism is it?

It seems entertaining, but not something to read on a regular basis.

"I wouldn't usually buy the Standard; I pick up the Metro on the tube."

Joe Thompson, 34, musician "I usually buy the Daily Mail, but this seems a bit like Metro. The Evening Standard comes out too late, so this is much better, it feels fresher. I like that it's got the listings for every evening, with theatre, music and clubbing.

Sunny Thompson, 23, homeopath "I thought it was the Metro. They handed it to me inside a copy of the Metro, so it's a bit confusing — I presumed it was the same corporation.

It's just something to read on the tube.

I wouldn't normally buy a newspaper anyway."

Lourdes Garcia, 52, domestic helper "I think it's nice, quite good. It seems like there's a lot of things to read in it. It looks quite similar to the Metro, but I'm happy to read it on the tube, because it's free. If I'm not in a hurry and I have time though, I buy The Sun."

Harris Miller, 44, street cleaner "Yeah, it looks all right. I've just been standing here reading it and catching up on the sort of news that you don't normally get to see.

"It's got some really interesting bits. It definitely seems to be handy if you've got a few spare minutes and you want something light to read."

Roger Collins, 57, school teacher "I picked up one of the trial copies the other day and I quite liked it, so I took a copy today. It's a war between the big publishers isn't it?

"If it's free versus 50p, then free's going to win every time.

"But with so many free papers in the market it can get pretty confusing. With Metro, Standard Lite and now London Lite, readers don't always know what they're reading."

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