The Hamiltons as seen on TV

Neil and Christine, electoral poison, embark on a new career. Or don't they?
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The Independent Online
"If I am no longer an MP," proclaimed the former Tory MP Neil Hamilton after his election defeat by Martin Bell, "then I will have to gain my income from books and journalism." And let's not forget television and radio.

Last Monday, he and his wife, Christine, talked on Radio 5 of their fear for the future; next day, BBC 1's Kilroy had Christine complaining of depression and sleepless nights. On Thursday, the couple were maintaining their air of indignant innocence on Radio 4's The Moral Maze; on Friday night, they calmly braved the barbs of Messrs Deayton, Hislop and Merton on Have I Got News For You. At the end, they were presented with their "fees" in two large brown envelopes.

On Kilroy, Mr Hamilton suggested that he might be seeking a career in broadcasting, claiming it was "the one place where questions about your integrity do not seem to matter". But who would manage this attractive couple, and how?

Eugene Beer, Beer Davies PR

Next to managing Princess Diana's affairs, I can't think of anything worse than looking after the Hamiltons. But I'm sure Kelvin MacKenzie would consider them the natural L!ve TV rivals to Richard and Judy - the sexual chemistry between this couple is incredible.

Max Clifford, publicist

If I was looking after him and his wife - and I stress that I wouldn't - the first thing I would do is get a serious documentary made, showing how he'd become the victim of a campaign by the media and Mohamed Al Fayed. You need to change public perception, and then people might excuse all the arrogance, pomposity and protestations.

Then they'd have to bring out a book - Neil Hamilton's Guide to Political Sleaze - saying that everyone is at it and that they were just following "the system". That could make them a lot of money. But it might be good to donate the proceeds to a good cause, like a hospital, and then make it known that he'd been associated with that hospital for years.

The problem is that Neil Hamilton has already been found guilty by the British people. The British don't like women who dominate men, and they don't like men who seem arrogant or shifty. In the months it would take to make the documentary, I would try and teach Neil humility, with some one-liners and repartee so that he doesn't appear to be taking himself so seriously.

Trevor Morris, managing director, Quentin Bell

I'd position them as experts on travel and incentives - testing out hotels, corporate hospitality and company gifts.

Hilary Gagan, theatrical agent

I'd try and sell them as alternative therapists - on the subject of withdrawing from public life graciously, which they aren't doing.

Judy Tarlo, publicist

I don't think there's anything that can be done with them. Everything in life is about timing, and Neil Hamilton's time has gone. I know David Mellor managed to have a media career after his disgrace, but Mellor is an intellectual. You might hate him, but he is bright and savvy. As for the Hamiltons, their appearances will soon dry up.

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