Chummy apology falls flat.
THERE were no naked lady images on the cuffs of Peter Foster's shirt yesterday when he portrayed himself as the victim of the ``most extraordinary character assassination'' in the so-called Cheriegate affair.
His girlfriend, Carole Caplin - the woman who once dressed Tony Blair in a designer Paul Smith shirt with nude women on each shirt cuff for a foreign trip - took a more low-key approach with the wardrobe of her convicted fraudster boyfriend.
Dressed in a single-breasted navy suit, dark blue shirt and metallic grey tie, he looked more like a rather dapper solicitor - despite the fact, aside from his friend, Cherie, he is possibly better acquainted with the other side of the law.
Speaking as sincerely as any victim of a miscarriage of justice outside a court of law, he declared, ``I have decided to make a final statement in the interests of truth and clarity.'' Oh yes, you could hear Esther Rantzen mouthing, and you know all about that, don't you?
Round-faced Foster went straight in on the love angle, mentioning his relationship with Carole, the former model and fitness expert who is now a close friend of Mrs Blair.
``The very idea that this was part of a sinister plot by me to target the Prime Minister and his family is risible,'' he said. ``The reasons that any man would become attracted to Carole are obvious.''
Oh yuck. It had been going reasonably well until he had to do that little macho swagger.
He explained about the Bristol flats. ``Yes, I managed a pounds 69,000 discount.''
He said he was still nuts about Carole, chummily apologised to Tony and Cherie for ``the mess a little help from your friends can get you in to'' and cannily plugged his forthcoming autobiography.
If there's anything about this story which interests your averagely curious voter, it's more likely to be Cherie and Carole's detoxing sessions in the shower or where Carole got that fur-trimmed coat from.
The most enduring image of Peter Foster is of him on the phone to his mum all the time. That's his best bet - to plug the mummy's boy line.