ON THIS DAY 25 YEARS AGO
Flab-fighting Leicester East MP Keith Vaz was left flabbergasted when he visited a health farm to trim a few pounds off his portly figure.
Once inside the Henlow Grange Health Farm, Bedfordshire, he was thrown on a table, covered in wax and wrapped in tin foil.
"I felt like a Christmas turkey waiting to be roasted," said the jovial MP, who is dieting to raise money for Dr Barnardo's children's homes.
Mr Vaz was one of six competitors chosen for the Chance of a Lifetime Challenge.
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"Unfortunately, I was only able to spend a few hours at the health farm instead of the full week," said Mr Vaz.
"And that was because of my heavy commitments at the Commons and to my constituents, not because I was afraid."
The plump MP, who weighed in at 14 stone at the outset of his diet, added he was sticking to the rest of his specially designed programme.
Apart from the diet, he has to take regular and strenuous exercise, which at the moment consists of jogging along the proposed route of the highly controversial A46/A47 link road. He will also use the gym facilities at the Commons.
Next term, pupils at King Edward VII Grammar School, Coalville, will have four new mathematics teachers who will not give lines or detention for bad work.
They are not human but electronic Autotutor teaching machines. Three of them would cost Leicestershire County Council nearly £900. Another is on personal loan and will be used to brush up the mathematics of pupils who fail in their examinations in that subject.
The county council is hiring three of the machines for next term. The machine is an American invention and Coalville Grammar School will be conducting the first experiment with "multiple answer" machines for school-age children in this country.
At the end of term, the school's maths staff and council education officials will assess the value of the machines in helping pupils.
Mr W E Hayward, headmaster of Coalville Grammar School, said: "The machines will be used with four types of pupil: those who have failed GCE 'O' level in maths, those preparing to enter teachers' training colleges, some members of the sixth form and junior school children.
"The machines will not take the place of teachers."