The Vatican TV remake of Andy Warhol's Empire is gripping the newsroom.
While the Conclave is taking place the news agencies are providing a locked-off shot of the most famous chimney in the world for three hours, twice a day.
The nail-biting wait for that waft of smoke has become compulsive viewing.
It's like sitting on a river bank with a fishing rod, anticipating the slightest twitch from beneath the water.
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The first puffs are the most confusing.
As the furnace fires up the initial smoke is a nondescript grey colour -- and leads to a flurry of speculation over whether the new Pontiff has been chosen or not. It seems to take a few seconds for the true colour -- so far black -- to become clear.
And considering that Vatican chimney is being so keenly watched, you'd have thought they'd have made more of an effort.
The rusty tin contraption they've constructed looks like it has been stolen from an Indian slum.