Updated: Nov 23, 2021
The last of the "Downing Street Image Touslers", Janice Edwards, is to step down next week. Janice led a six-strong image management team put together to ensure the Prime Minister always had that 'just rolled out of someone else's bed' look.
"The team was set up right after he was elected. Some continuity was needed to maintain that trademark crumpled look - he referred to us as his touslers, and it sort of stuck, " confided Janice. "Initially, we had myself and Richard on hair and make-up, Carole and Laura on jackets, ties and shirts, and Garry and Katriona on trousers".
"Poor Kat. In those early days, we really didn't know how ... er ... potently fecund the PM was. Working in close proximity to 'wee Boris' , even through several layers of fabric, was enough for her to end up pregnant. We had to rotate the assignments and beef up the PPE. Then Jeanne had a couple of scares, and within six months, a third of the team was on maternity leave. Even Garry started complaining of ovulation pains."
With the COVID lockdown, the much-reduced team found their tasks far more stressful, with the PM having to tousle himself - under close Zoom supervision - for long periods of 2020.
"If you look back through the briefings, you can see that the quality of the tousle suffered dramatically", confided Janice. "This was a terrible time for us as we literally watched all our hard work unravel in front of the whole country."
The decision was eventually made to disband the Touslers early this year, with Janice remaining on to help train up their replacement - consisting of a number of ex-Warrington Wolves rugby league players in NBC suits, a couple of stout ropes, and a length of hawthorn hedge.
"It lacks finesse, but it is effective, and - hopefully - no more pregnancies."