Leading article: The cheek of it

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The Independent Online

He was a cheeky chappie. She was a Cheeky Girl. But other than that, the romance between the Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik and the pop starlet Gabriela Irimia looks like a rather unlikely affair. Are not British Members of Parliament and C-list celebrities supposed to move in different social circles? Liberal Democrats are best known for winning by-elections; the Cheeky Girls are best known for the exhortation "touch my bum". How on earth did this happen?

But when one analyses the situation, the more logical, perhaps inevitable, the union seems. Mr Opik has never been a conventional politician. Most MPs make their names campaigning on issues such as schools 'n' hospitals. Mr Opik came to prominence thanks to his belief in the imminence of an asteroid hitting the Earth.

And Mr Opik has always reached for the stars. He was engaged to the TV "weather girl" Sian Lloyd before Ms Irimia came along. Indeed he had travelled to Australia to support Ms Lloyd, who was a contestant on ITV's I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!.

Here was someone entirely comfortable in the world of light entertainment. A cheeky liaison was surely only a matter of time. And then there's the shared history. His family is from Estonia; hers from Romania. Mr Opik and Ms Irimia must have bonded over their mutual interest in European Union enlargement.

So perhaps not such an unlikely love story after all. Only one question remains: is it too late for a cheeky Christmas duet single?