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Jerry Springer `to go for Senate'

HIS EXPERIENCE with angry, dysfunctional chair-throwing extroverts may stand Jerry Springer in good stead if he takes the next logical step in his career: standing for the US Senate.

The most controversial talk-show host in America is being touted as a Democratic candidate for Ohio, and he is doing little to quell the speculation. "Politics has always been in my blood, it's always been my passion," he said recently. He was Mayor of Cincinnati and a long-time councilman for the city. If Jesse Ventura, the Governor of Minnesota and a former wrestler, can do it, then why not Jerry Springer?

Mr Springer, who was born in London, hosts a show that confronts people with the awful consequences of their actions: men who slept with their wife's best friends, women who cheated on their partners and people of indeterminate sex who did whatever they wanted to. It is an authentic slice of American life, immensely popular if blamed by many for cheapening US television and coarsening the national moral debate.

Mike DeWine, the Republican incumbent, is probably vulnerable to a solid challenger, and the Democrats will be trying to weaken their opponents' control of the Senate in next year's election.

But Mr Springer has more vulnerabilities than his show: he was forced to resign from the Cincinnati council in 1974 after he was discovered to have visited a massage parlour and paid with a personal cheque.