POSTED NOVEMBER 27 2008
By Alice-Azania Jarvis
John Prescott's brief stint on television appears to have paid off.
The former deputy prime minister won praise for his BBC2 documentary Prescott: The Class System And Me – although his wife Pauline seemed the real star, reportedly attracting offers of future small-screen work.
Now, however, I hear that Prezza has seen his own stock rise, with demand for his presence on the lucrative after-dinner speaking circuit higher than ever.
So in vogue is Prescott that he has been bumped up to "A-grade" status by his London-based agency, JLA. According to its website, the Labour veteran can earn up to £25,000 for a single booking – especially pleasing given the widespread mirth caused by his demotion to "B-grade" last spring.
Jeremy Lee, the boss of the agency, acknowledges the boost in interest since the show. "We have absolutely had an increase in demand [for John]. People loved it," he says.
Now established as one of JLA's top earners, Mr Prescott is in glitzy company: Alastair Campbell and his old Commons foe, William Hague, are among its fellow A-listers, while Ken Livingstone and Michael Portillo remain in the more modest B-band, where fees start at £5,000.
"It is determined by the market, by how in demand people are," adds Lee. "John has been very popular."