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Thespians born of politicians

What is it about the offspring of education's political hacks and major advertising campaigns?

Celebrity groupies will already be familiar with Rachel, the delectable supermodel daughter of Lib Dem education spokesman Phil Willis who starred as "Connie" in the internet giant AOL's television ads. The Connie character was actually axed at the end of last year, but now there is a new star in the ascendant: John Sheerman, son of Barry Sheerman, the Labour chairman of the Commons education select committee.

John has landed a starring role in British Gas's latest advert with Ricky Tomlinson. Tomlinson, well known for his roles in the Royle Family and Brookside, lectures British Gas recruits in his own peculiarly down-to-earth style, soaking them with high pressure hoses and dragging them up mountains in driving rain.

In the latest ad, John, who is in his first year of acting, plays a pedantic trainee who questions whether Deputy Dawg is a cowboy (it doesn't bear explaining). "Actors are very happy to pick up employment wherever they can," according to his proud dad, and the repeat fees are "quite generous".

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