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Oddly enough - Ed walks the wok as a TV chef

Is there no end to Ed Balls' talents? Having displayed his aptitude for extra-curricular football and playing on swings, last week the Schools Secretary tried TV cookery.

The minister looked faintly nervous as he prepared to make his debut on ITV's This Morning.

"Are you a cook?" asked presenter Phillip Schofield. "Yes," replied the father of three proudly. "I do all the cooking."

TV chef Phil Vickery was on hand to help as Mr Balls demonstrated a stir-fry from a new government cookery booklet for 11-year-olds.

But the minister had it under control. "Good knife skills," cooed the show's co-presenter Fern Britton.

"Shall I put some more noodles in?" the Schools Secretary enquired.

"Do what you like," answered a resigned-looking Mr Vickery.

Ms Britton remained confused about her guest's identity. "Minister for schools and what, are you?"

But Mr Balls didn't mind. "It has always been my ambition to do this," he said. And we thought he wanted to be Chancellor.

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