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In name only

AFTER years of avoiding each other, the Smithers have decided to bury the hatchet.

Rebecca Smithers, Guardian education correspondent, and Professor Alan Smithers, director of Liverpool University's centre for employment and education research, finally had lunch last week. But why the long wait?

It seems Alan Smithers des not relish being told that "it must be useful having a daughter who is education correspondent on the Guardian", while Ms Smithers is asked why she doesn't quote "her father" more often.

Ms Smithers assures us that she is not related to Alan. However, the rendezvous could lead to a study of their family trees.

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