From Labour's darling to Zoo's agony aunt, Mo switches tack

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The Independent Online

Just a few years ago, Mo Mowlam was the darling of the Labour party - Northern Ireland secretary and architect of the Good Friday Agreement who received a standing ovation at the annual conference. Yesterday, she was in Soho, standing next to a semi-naked glamour model publicising her new role as a sex advisor for a weekly lad's magazine.

Just a few years ago, Mo Mowlam was the darling of the Labour party - Northern Ireland secretary and architect of the Good Friday Agreement who received a standing ovation at the annual conference. Yesterday, she was in Soho, standing next to a semi-naked glamour model publicising her new role as a sex advisor for a weekly lad's magazine.

Ms Mowlam has become agony aunt for Zoo, dispensing advice to its male readers in a joint column with Jodie Marsh.

Yesterday, the duo posed in Soho Square - Miss Marsh wearingunderwear and Ms Mowlam in a full-length white fake fur coat and psychedelic trousers.

Under her coat, she wore a Zoo T-shirt with the names of the Prime Minister and her former Cabinet colleagues scrawled across the back - each with marks out of 10 for sex appeal. The T-shirt was a version of the one worn by Ms Marsh to a nightclub last week, rating her former lovers. In Ms Mowlam's list, Mr Blair came top with 10 out of 10, while Chancellor Gordon Brown managed eight.

Ms Mowlam was anxious to justify her new role: "You don't have a stepson and nephews without problems and I've always been Aunty Mo. I've had a fair discussion with most of them about sex and growing up."

She added: "This gives me a chance to do what I enjoy, talking to people about things they need to discuss."

The sex column is not the only new outlet for Ms Mowlam's talents. She has gone on the road around 25 provincial theatres with a one-woman show, An Audience with Mo Mowlam.

Ms Mowlam may have sought new outlets for her talents because of financial difficulties. She developed a brain tumour after she quit as Northern Ireland Secretary in 1999. At the same time, her husband Jon Norton, a City banker, lost his job.

In an interview last month she admitted the couple had been hard up last year because of the libel case brought against her by Bernadette McAliskey, the former MP for mid-Ulster, over Ms Mowlam's 2002 book, Momentum, about her time in politics. She was forced to pay damages.

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