Walcott's girlfriend has PR in the genes

Theo Walcott's inclusion in England's World Cup squad has generated a stream of reports on the 17-year-old's background, with the tabloid spotlight inevitably turning to his girlfriend.

Melanie Slade has attracted comparisons with Wayne Rooney's belle Colleen and has already taken part in a photoshoot for Cancer Research UK, while snatched shots of her working at Claire's Accessories have also been published.

There is arguably no better figure to advise her on media handling than her dad, John - who, when Diary calls, tells us he has got 40 years' experience in PR and runs Southampton agency Steamship PR.

The Southampton FC follower, Lib Dem councillor and Sheriff of Southampton (no less) reassures us: 'Melanie and Theo are very bright and articulate.'

But before we can ask what advice he has bestowed on the couple, he adds: 'I've got to run, I'm being made mayor tomorrow.'

You couldn't make it up.

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