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Alan Johnson

WHEN HE is not singing his own praises, Alan Johnson likes to belt out a couple of show tunes.

Westminster's favourite silver fox will be recovering from his unsuccessful deputy leadership campaign by joining a host of schoolchildren and civil servants for a performance of the Grease hit "Summer Nights" this Tuesday, live at the Department for Education and Skills.

Okay, so it's not the Rolling Stones at Altamont. The unlikely gig is part of Sing London, a festival designed to promote singing in the capital.

Mr Johnson and co will also be tantalising our eardrums with versions of The Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun" and Cliff Richard's "Summer Holiday". And we are assured the parliamentary member's vocal chords are in fine fettle.

"He was a postman and I like to think postmen are good whistlers," said a spokeswoman for the event.

"And while he hasn't done much choral work, he has raised pound;10 million for primary singing."

Quite. Other festival attractions include a singing workshop for tone-deaf primary teachers and a Complaints Choir formed by children from Queen's Park community school in north London. The latter promises to be an intriguing performance, in which pupils set diatribes about being forced to tidy their bedroom and finish their maths homework to music.

"Join them and whinge in harmony," invites the press release.

Alternatively, turn up and send them to their room en masse.

* www.singlondon.org

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