DIARY: The Deal's a 'fair reflection' for former spinner

The Deal, the 90-minute dramatisation of the Blair-Brown pact broadcast by Channel 4 last Sunday evening, was the talk of the town among the lobbyists and PROs who descended on Bournemouth for this week's Labour Party conference.

But what did Brown's former spin doctor, PRWeek columnist Charlie Whelan, make of the film, which also featured himself (played by Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels star Dexter Fletcher)?

'People have been taking the mickey out of me,' Charlie laments. 'For a start, I'm much better looking than Dexter.'

And what about the scene in which Charlie calls Peter Mandelson a 'f***er' after a switch of allegiance from Brown to Blair? 'Ridiculous,' Charlie says - unconvincingly, given that he was consulted on the making of the film.

As to the overall theme of the piece, which contrasted the populist and wildly enthusiastic Blair with the brooding but cerebral Brown, Whelan says he considers it a 'fair reflection' and - ever keen to spin in favour of his former boss - he adds: 'Brown was brilliant, wasn't he?'

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