DENNIS HEALEY, politician: I wanted to be a film director. In some ways it's like being a minister because you have to co-ordinate everybody. I wouldn't mind filming an opera or a ballet - music would be an integral part of any film I made.

FIONA PITT-KETHLEY, poet: I suppose I have the temperament of a prima donna so it wouldn't be unfitting to become one. All the dress- ing-up, lights and power have their appeal. Prima donnas are good at self-publicity but get a worse reputation than theydeserve, which is the way many people seem to see me.

MARK MAJOR, computer operator (and John Major's nephew): I would love to be a graphic artist. I would like to do album covers, posters and even design kitchen work tops. I really admire people with artistic ability.

LEAFY ASHTON, chef: I do a lot of work with meat and fish, cutting it up and putting it together again. I'm quite interested in this sort of thing, so I'd like to be a surgeon. I wouldn't mind the long training, in fact I'd thoroughly enjoy it. You're always learning new things as a chef anyway.

MICHAEL FRANCE, funeral director: I've always fancied myself as an actor, more Hugh Grant than Sly Stallone - I'd reject superhero-type roles.

JUNE BROWN, actress: An osteopath. I wanted to train as one when I left school but my father refused to pay - he said "you're a girl and you'll only get married, you'll waste it." I was very good at biology at school, especially dissecting rabbits in biscuit tins.

JONATHAN WOODROW, chartered accountant: A long-distance lorry driver. You'd get a sense of power driving a great machine. It would be more relaxing than accountancy because when a job's done it's done.

CHRISTINA HAROCOPOS, nurse: I would like to be head of the gas board, but not for the gas, only for the salary. And I'd really like to be in Virginia Bottomley's position of power, though I wouldn't like to actually be her.

BEN RAMOS, writer: I'd like to be a test match commentator, the new Jonners, travelling, eating cake, and drinking in Barbados in a linen suit with a Panama hat.

TESSA KING FARLOW, garden designer: An old-fashioned printer, moving print with tweezers, because it involves hands and brain.

BARRY BERMANGE, writer and film director: The best alternative career would be no career at all.

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