By Henry Deedes
Vince Cable’s rather successful stint as the acting leader of the Liberal Democrats has seen his star rise in the Commons faster than a spotty pop hopeful on The X Factor.
As a result, and presuming that he accepts a frontline job from whoever wins the party leadership battle, he can expect a far higher media profile among his parliamentary colleagues from now on.
Cable, an accomplished ballroom dancer, has already revealed an ambition to appear on the BBC show Strictly Come Dancing. It seems he could also, if he so wished, explore a lucrative sideline on the public speaking circuit. After a string of impressive performances, Cable has caught the eye of the theatre impresario Clive Conway, one of the leading agents for public speakers, who counts the likes of Tony Benn and Alastair Campbell among his clients.
“He is entertaining but he also has that all-important gravitas,” says Conway. “Having seen how successful people like Tony Benn and William Hague can be, you get a feel for the kind of thing that attracts the public and he has those qualities. He has the kind of calibre that you need.”
Conway hasn’t made contact with Cable’s office yet, but not everyone agrees with his verdict. Jeremy Lee, who runs the prestigious JLA speaking circuit, will not be calling Cable’s office. “No, is the short answer,” says Lee. “In my opinion, one swallow does not make a summer. It’s nothing personal against Vince, but he is just not someone I can see us being inundated with requests for.”