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Diary - In teachers we trust

How do you get the great, the good and the notoriously bad to trust you? You pretend to be a retired teacher, according to one successful spoofer.

Geoff Atkinson, a comedy producer and writer, went under the name of Colin Nugent, a 62-year-old retired teacher from Pinner, Middlesex, to gain the trust of public figures.

He contacted bankers, politicians and captains of industry, including former RBS chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin. He sent the disgraced banker sympathetic letters, flowers and a model of his favourite car. Sir Fred thanked him with letters and flowers in response.

It seems to prove that society trusts teachers more than most professions. A 2009 survey by Mori found that teachers are second only to doctors in terms of public trust.

Mr Atkinson has published the responses in a book, Colin Nugent Saves Britain.

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