His champagne-and-sweat soaked face glistened in the harsh light of a thousand camera flashes. The team that had made it possible clustered tight around him. Mike Tomlinson, former chief inspector and head of the working group on 14 to19 education, slowly raised the Rugby World Cup.
This surreal vision, perhaps minus the sweat, came to pass last Tuesday at the luxurious Penny Hill Park Hotel in Bagshot, Surrey where Mr Tomlinson and his working group were holding one of their regular meetings. Suddenly, the England rugby team, fresh off a flight from Australia, swept into the hotel for their first press conference back in Blighty.
England's stars mixed freely with guests afterwards and Mr Tomlinson, momentarily distracted from the whys and wherefores of baccalaureates, grabbed his moment with the trophy.