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Plumbing the depths of fame

A job swap can present unrivalled opportunities for growth, for learning, for broadening your horizons. But when what you do for a living is to stand in front of a class day in, day out, how do you persuade anyone of sound mind to swap with you?

I've tried. Oh, how I've tried. But something always seems to crop up that rules it out. I thought I'd cracked it a while ago when I was lining up a swap with one of the big noises at the Learning and Skills Council.

It looked like a win-win deal. He'd get to find out what it was really like on the front line of FE. And I'd discover the joys of handing out, or - much more fun when dealing with beacon colleges - not handing out, large sums of public money.

In the end, though, it just didn't happen. Maybe someone in Coventry got wind of my spending priorities. Despite the setbacks, I'm prepared to give the job-swap idea one last go.

My target this time? Liz Hurley. All right, I know it might sound unlikely that I could be "the face of Estee Lauder" or the body of Monsoon, but come on, I'd have help.

Reportedly, Liz arrived at Sudeley Castle, for the first leg of her recent wedding, complete with three make-up artists and a dresser to enable her to prepare for the big day. And trailing along behind them was a team of no fewer than four hairdressers.

"That'd be one for each hair then," said Mrs Jones, a touch ungenerously I thought, when I revealed my swap plan to her.

How I'd get on with being the love of new hubby Arun Nayar's life would be another matter. Providing him with the Hurley version of "home comforts"

might be a bit of a challenge. But surely, being able to discuss Scunthorpe United's prospects for promotion at breakfast would more than make up for that?

No, I think the person who'd really have problems adjusting to a different world would be Liz. For a start, what would she teach? Media studies perhaps? Let's face it, she has herself been the subject of these on many an occasion. Or, alternatively, parenting skills. Lesson one: choosing the right nanny.

But maybe we should be going in for more "outside-the-box" thinking here.

We all know you can't judge a book by its cover girl. "I have three lives,"

Liz writes on her website, "actress, model and producer." So why not a fourth -plumber? Deep down I'm sure Liz would just love to have a go at the craft level plumbers. And you can take it as read that they'd love to have a go at her.

In the end though, perhaps it would be better for her to stick with what she knows. Ask any bunch of 16-year-olds what they'd really like to do with their lives and you can bet at least half of them would say they'd like jetting round the world being famous.

And who would be better qualified to teach them that, I wonder?

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