TV personality Alan Titchmarsh has topped the popularity polls when it comes to who older British women think about to promote orgasm. In a Britishness study commissioned by Michael Gove, Tichmarsh came top, followed closely behind by Max Hastings and Clare Balding, who came equal second.
Addressing an education conference in Hull. Mr Gove said 'Events in Birmingham in the past months have made us think very hard about how we define the Britishness we are so keen to instil in our children. How can it be effectively measured or defined? What better way than to find out who decent older middle aged British women think about when they're hoping to come?'
Later, deputy head teacher Michele Smythe (54) agreed the choice was both effective and in her case the poll results were accurate. She said 'Achieving orgasm is a highly personal business, and cultural choice is part of that. Of course Englishness comes into it. I could never imagine, say Abu Hamza or Keith Vaz in that way, o that quite nice man who wanted bland food in the comedy about militant Islam, whereas someone like Huw Edwards, well....'
'These are matters of the heart as well as the head, and what we found among our womenfolk over 50 was an encouraging and sincere preference for a very special sort of Britishness, also summed up in Mr Kipling Cakes and irritable bowel syndrome,' Gove wrote in an article for the Daily Mail. 'What we see reflected in these figures is the kind of common decency associated with John Nettles, that bloke off Emmerdale or Ken Bruce - if Scotland decide to stay in the Union. What better message to take back to Birmingham schools, teachers governors and pupils about what Britishness really is? What better way to fight hardline extremism?'
Back in the conference hall, Michele Smythe and friends admitted for them it was Titchmarsh all the way, for both Englishness and sexual intensity. One said: 'Especially in a pink shirt with contrasting white collar, she added, before admitting 'I did have a little extra one the night UKIP won in Europe, but I think I'd seen back to back Monty Don on the iplayer that night'
Back on the podium, Mr Gove said he would not be drawn about where the Prime Minister or Vince Cable came in the poll, but he 'hoped the Home Secretary would reflect on these figures.'