MP reveals past life as magician - with mixed results

Politics was once described as "show business for ugly people" and it's true that in the 21st century the line between the worlds of politics and celebrity are often blurred.

Tory MP Penny Mourdant will appear on ITV's Splash programme, donating her fee to charity. Her decision hasn't been universally welcomed but the revelation that she was once a magician's assistant has stirred memories in one of her parliamentary colleagues.

Glyn Davies, for it is he, confesses on Facebook: "I should admit that I began a career as a magician myself. Magic Circle's Bill Tombs trained me. My show was around 30 minutes. Remember disaster when trick with Phil Bowen went wrong.

"Involved me appearing to pour a jug of hot water down his trousers - using a trick funnel. The idea was that I would then pump his arm and the water would run out of his trouser leg. Knew there was something wrong when Phil screamed. "You've set fire to my ******* ****** you ******* ***** ". Most unsuitable for a kids party but best audience response ever."

His "confession" prompted concern among constituents, one of whom pleaded "Glyn, don't do a Lembit on us".

Mr Davies re-assured him that he retired from "this stressful activity" more than 40 years ago. He also confirmed to me: "Phil Bowen remains fit and well with a suitably low-pitched voice for an ex-second row forward"