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Jilly wants the lads to get romantic

Jilly Cooper wants men to brush up their skills - at letter-writing. A press release from the Government's "Get On" campaign this week contained a stirring call from the mistress of the bonkbuster to "celebrate Valentine's Day everywhere, lads, by dropping both your guard and a line to your favourite woman". In it, she recalled how she was charmed as a gel by a letter from rugby-playing Leo, now her husband of 45 years, who " had "the soul of a poet"...

The bubbly Mrs Cooper told the Diary she was "deeply moved" that the Government had asked her to help with the campaign, which urges adults to brush up their basic skills.

She has been fascinated by her research in schools over the last four years for her new romantic novel, Wicked! due out in May.

We gather it is a tale of two schools - Posh meets Comp in the Cotswolds - which gives a whole new meaning to partnership schemes between the independent and state sectors. Revealing, perhaps, some of the fruits of her research, she describes it as "a brick that any child can throw through a window".

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