David Blackburn

Cameron for Middle England

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David Cameron is a man for all seasons. The Bullingdon Club man told the men’s mag, Shortlist, how he takes a glug of Guinness, steps up to the oche, shoots 180 and then retires to watch the seemingly interminable Lark Rise to Candleford. He also likes pottering around his garden dispensing Miracle Grow with liberal conservative largesse. So it's only fitting that the Leader of the Opposition will appear on housewives’ favourite, gardener and erotic novelist Alan Titchmarsh’s daytime TV show.

This is a PR masterstroke. Brown has benefitted from his interviews with Piers Morgan and Tesco magazine, not in the polls but in terms of perceptions. Cameron will strike at undecided and reluctant voters through Titchmarsh, who embodies Middle England in a way that Piers Morgan doesn’t. Cameron, striving to be serious, insists that  he will do a rigorous television interview at some stage, but his comfy chat about petunias and Bridget Jones will have more effect.

Not that Cameron will be complacent. Piers Morgan’s interview was a shameless put-up for his friend Brown, Fern Britton’s unintended inquisition of Tony Blair was not. Morgan fancies himself as a political animal, Britton and Titchmarsh do not share his pretension and the potential for Cameron to slip is greater with them.

These PR exercises are undignified, but they can make a difference. I wonder which programme will interview Nick Clegg? With his Casanovan reputation he must be a shoo-in for Loose Women.