Let them eat charcoal-grilled quail

An expletive would never so much as enter Tony's head as he embarks on a valedictory interview and a

Scene 1: The Blairs' flat. Tony and Cherie are going through proof copies of Alastair Campbell's The Blair Years, cutting out numerous indiscretions. They've been at it all morning. Both lay aside their pencils, exhausted.

Tony: Phew! Well, I've done my 300 pages.

Cherie: And I've done mine.

Tony: How much swearing did he give us in your bit?

Cherie: I lost count after 100 f**ks, two dozen w***ers and six c**ts.

Tony: I can't believe he's done this.

Cherie: We treated him like family.

Tony: And what did we get in return? F***ing lies.

Cherie: W***er.

Tony: C**t. Anyway, I'm going to kill off these rumours. What time is it?

Cherie: Half twelve.

Tony: Sh*t. I'm due on The One O'Clock News.

Cherie: Good luck. And remember not to swear.

Tony: F**k off.

Scene 2: Tony gives a live interview to Sophie Raworth.

Tony: I don't have a problem with the way Alastair has portrayed me in his book. Not at all. I'm happy to admit I use bad language. I say botheration when I'm under pressure. Or blast or drat or hell's bells. Or Cherie might call me a nincompoop and I'll call her a silly old goose. Like any couple. And sometimes, when facing an international crisis - in respect of Iraq, for example - I may even have said Horlicks. What I object to is that Alastair quoted private conversations between me and other world leaders. That's what I wanted to make clear.

Sophie Raworth: Fine. So let's turn to your trip to South Africa . . .

Scene 3: South Africa. A camp full of Zimbabwean refugees. Cherie is at the distribution point. A line of hungry exiles stretches two miles to the horizon. She hands out rice and promotional copies of a new cookbook, Downing Street Dining by C Blair.

Cherie: The great thing about these recipes is their utter, joyful simplicity. Especially the charcoal-grilled quail. Oh, and the aubergines with caramelised butter - sheer heaven! And if you can get the ingredients, try the octopus salad with dill and caperberries, it's just a dream. The preparation takes a couple of hours, but if you really want to wow your guests, it never fails. Now, who's next?

Tony takes her by the elbow.

Tony [aside]: Darling? These people are quite close to starvation.

Cherie [aside]: Thank God for that. I thought they'd all succumbed to body fascism. [To the camp] OK, everyone? You've got to bulk up on pasta. Sleep loads. Snack frequently and take no exercise. Ooh, how I envy you.

Tony [drags her away]: Let's see the rest of the camp.

Cherie: Ciao, everyone. Bon appetit.

He gets her outside.

Tony: For Christ's sake, don't gush. Everyone here is very poor.

Cherie: So are we! I don't need a lecture about that. Ah, here we are.

They reach a tent occupied by two hungry families squatting on the compacted earth. They go in.

Cherie: Well, isn't this cosy, Tony?

Tony [aside]: For f**k's sake.

Cherie: And you've managed to get a lurvely, down-to-earth, cottagey feel. Just what we've always aimed for at No 10. And this is where you do your cooking, is it? Right. And where's the loo, if you don't mind my . . . Oh, right there? That's convenient. Easy to find in the middle of the night. No fumbling for the light switch. Just follow your nose! Yes, I'll tread carefully.

Now, I realise you're probably feeling a little depressed right now, but never stop hoping. You know I was born in a place not unlike this lovely little camp, where poverty and disease and crime were endemic. And now it's a European City of Culture. So keep your spirits up and sing, like we Liverpudlians do, even when we're about to lose the Champions League final. After me: "Walk on. Waa-alk o-o-on. With hope. In your hearts. And you'll never walk uh-uh-lone. You'll never . . ."

Tony: Christ. Let's go.

He drags her outside.

Tony: You're so embarrassing.

Cherie: Piss off. I'm just cheering them up.

Tony: Singing f***ing football chants . . .

Cherie: At least I'm trying. What do you know about poverty, you w***er?

Tony: A f**k's sight more than you, you insensitive frigging b**ch. Uh-oh.

Cherie: What?

Tony: Sophie Raworth!

She follows Tony's glance towards a BBC news team.

Tony: Hi, Sophie. Didn't realise you were covering the tour.

Sophie Raworth: Yes, hello. Um, did you just call Cherie an insensitive frigging b**ch?

Tony: Er, no, um, a silly . . . silly old goose. Isn't that right, darling?

Cherie: Yes, and Tony's being a nincompoop because he made a Horlicks of the schedule.

Tony: Silly me. Damn and blast.

Cherie: Botheration! Drat!

Tony: Sugar!

Cherie: Crumbs!

Sophie Raworth: OK. Stop filming. That's a cut.


Tony: Phew. Right, f**k this lot. Let's get back to civilisation.

Sophie Raworth: Er, sorry, Prime Minister. Cameraman hit the wrong button.

Tony: What?

Sophie Raworth: That was recorded.


Tony: Horlicks!