Love's young dreamboat

31st August 2001 at 01:00
It is common knowledge that David Normington, permanent secretary of the Department for Education and Skills, is a hit with the ladies.

Recently his outfit's wonderfully obsequious in-house rag Feedback, said normally strait-laced female civil servants were calling him "Dreamboat" and hanging around the corridors in the hope of bumping into his lithe frame.

There were also reports of some rather embarrassing attempts at hugs from flustered staff members when he first got the top job in the summer. He subsequently did his bit to whip up febrile imaginations by confiding that he danced a smouldering tango (comments that he started dancing because it was "one way to get your arms around a woman" were too much for some).

It was with interest, then, that we read his reminiscences about his early years at Wellington primary, Bradford, in the Observer magazine. His favourite memory was winning a "secret election" to crown the school May Queen. "Having about 17 girlfriends must have helped", he added. The little monkey!

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