From the Cabinet to the cabaret

Now something from our new culture secretary, James Purnell. I understand that as a boy, at a Guildford grammar school, young James landed the lead role in The Boyfriend, a rather light musical comedy, in which Purnell was required to play an upper-class Don Juan.

"It all came quite easily to him," says my man in the footlights. So perhaps there's another career – on the stage – when you tire of politics, young James.

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