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ULRIKA Jonsson and Edwina Currie went head-to-head in a bid to be named Kiss and Sell Queen of 2002.

The blonde-versus-brunette battle involved everyone from a former Prime Minister to the manager of the England football team - with a sprinkling of Gladiators thrown in.

Sven-Goran Eriksson's girlfriend, Nancy Dell'Olio, insisted that reports of a relationship between the England coach and TV star Ulrika were 'rubbish'.

Alas, November brought publication of Ms Jonsson's book, Honest, and all was revealed about the Swedes who play away from home.

Ulrika also caused a storm with revelations about an alleged rape. A slip of the tongue on live television named John Leslie as the alleged attacker.

Meanwhile, Mrs Currie, former Birmingham City Councillor and key player in the great egg controversy, got herself back into the headlines in fine style.

Her amazing revelation of a four-year affair with former Prime Minister John Major astounded the nation far more than anything she ever did in her day job as a politician.

Mrs Currie, also well-known as the author of steamy bonkbuster novels, informed us that her man wore blue underpants.

'I am a little surprised - not at Mrs Currie's indiscretion, but at a temporary lapse in John Major's taste,' was the acid verdict of Mary Archer, herself no stranger to headlines as wife of jailed peer Jeffrey.

Mr Major mumbled about it being the thing he regretted most in his life and then wisely kept his mouth shut. He must have wished his erstwhile paramour had done the same.

The only winner in all of this was the dignified Norma Major, who took over from Lady Archer as the most fragrant political wife.

Have I Got News For You host Angus Deayton also landed in hot water after accusations of snorting cocaine and cheating on his girlfriend.

The BBC insisted that he would not face disciplinary action but, naturally, he was obliged to step down shortly afterwards. Canadian teacher Amy Gehring, 26, became famous for five minutes when she was cleared of having sex with two teenage pupils.

But the final word on sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll belonged to Rolling Stones veteran Bill Wyman who summed up the band's heyday thus: 'The others had their drugs and booze. I had my women. I thought that was safer.

'You can't overdose on women.'


HEAD-TO-HEAD... Ulrika and Edwina
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Dec 29, 2002
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