The NS Competition No 4112

We asked for the first paragraph of a book that would instantly secure a huge advance from a publisher.

This week's winners

Superb. £25 to the winners, the best of whom, Ian Birchall, also gets the Tesco voucher . . .

I became Peter Mandelson's doctor in 1993 and, for 16 years, I was in a unique position to observe his terrible sufferings, which were completely hidden from the public. I kept a detailed record of his physical and mental torments, the unbearable pain that often left him screaming in agony for hours on end - a condition that is extremely rare in the case of a non-terminal illness.

I have wrestled with my conscience as to whether I should publish these confidential diaries, but have, at last, decided that the world should have this material. Some will read it from a concern to advance medical knowledge, some from compassion and some from Schadenfreude.

Ian Birchall

The first time George Bush and Tony Blair encountered Osama Bin Laden, they were standing by the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem and were, respectively, 27, 20 and 16 - young men of very different origins who knew nothing of one another. It was 1973. There was a fight, and one of the three was rescued by the other two.

All this would be practically beyond belief, were it not that a young man called Steve Jobs, who was 18, was on that very day testing
a new portable recording device over which he had laboured for months. He captured what happened not only in pristine sound, but also in primitive video.This is the story of that day.

Bill Greenwell

I have, after many years, discovered the name of my father. It has not been easy. Millions throughout the world know his name and love him. The chance remark that led to this revelation did not immediately have any meaning for me. Why should it? The man whom I have always known as father was the dearest man in the world to me. His, too, was a famous name and dearly loved by many.

The blood test, DNA sampling and records have been double-checked. There is no doubt and no mistake. You will know, if you read my story, the name of my father and the reason why I'm doing this.

Una McMorran

The next challenge

No 4115 Set by Leonora Casement

Another oldie, but not set for decades. We want you to send us famous words uttered at birth by contemporary figures.

As many as you like by 18 February

This article first appeared in the 08 February 2010 issue of the New Statesman, Nightmare on Cameron Street