Brought to book

Great confessions of our time, part one. Education Secretary David Blunkett, having agreed that the National Year of Reading should indeed be plugged on the nation's soap operas, decided that it might be an idea to watch EastEnders to see what it was all about. (Readers will recall that Grant Mitchell, the Square's answer to Ronnie Kray, is going to be seen reading a book to his baby daughter, Courtney. Or some such implausible scenario.) Anyway, we digress. Eagerly, Mr Blunkett settled down in front of the box to get to grips with the somewhat convoluted goings-on of the inhabitants of Walford.

And watched, open-mouthed, as the aforementioned Mitchell - books the last thing on his mind - proceeded to seduce his mother-in-law. "It made me wonder whether we had made quite the right decision," admitted Mr B sheepishly. Perhaps he should stick to The Archers.

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