She cooked meals for him, they huddled round a gas fire while he read Marx's Das Kapital ... but they didn't have sex. So said Barbara Castle as she reminisced with former Labour leader and Cabinet colleague Michael Foot on the anniversary of the birth of their colleague, Nye Bevan. Baroness Castle's frank admission of what she and Foot did not get up to came as they chatted on BBC's Breakfast with Frost programme yesterday.
"I had a little flat in Corn Street in Bloomsbury and Michael and I would have meals together. I used to cook for him," she said. Foot conceded that she did not cook badly.
Asked by David Frost if they had ever had a romance, Foot replied: "No, not really." But Castle was more adamant: "No, no. That was the fascinating thing about it - the same as my relationship with Harold Wilson. Everybody thought that, you know, we were having an affair because I was deeply fond of Harold and he took a joy in promoting and giving me chances.
"But I remember once writing an article and I said, `There are men like that, though such men are rare, who love the company of women but don't necessarily want to sleep with them'."
Author and former Conservative Party deputy chairman Michael Dobbs said yesterday that his lifelong affair with politics had led him to the brink of despair. The writer said "personal changes" brought about by long hours of unpaid political fixing had wrought a heavy cost - financially and privately. His converted £500,000 dairy farm in Bridport, Dorset, is now up for sale.
"That is because of changes in my private life. This has been brought about by my long involvement in politics, which has gone on for many years - perhaps for too many years."
Dobbs (48) refused to talk in detail about the changes in his private life or about his 17-year marriage. Dobbs is best-known for his political trilogy - House of Cards, To Play the King and The Final Cut - in which the fictional prime minister, Francis Urquhart, transfixed the public with his unscrupulous dealings.
Rock fans are snubbing pop legend Gary Glitter (53) after his arrest on allegations involving child pornography. Dozens were reported yesterday to have demanded their money back on £19.50 tickets bought for the opening concert in Cardiff, which launches his 10-date Christmas tour of Britain.
The singer is due to be interviewed by detectives again in the New Year after indecent material was allegedly found on his computer and at his home. Glitter - real name Paul Gadd - has not been charged and emphatically denies committing any offence.