Tony Booth didn't just hone his political skills arguing the toss with Alf Garnett. He was born in Liverpool, that hotbed of political activism; his uncle was close to Bessie Braddock, MP and de facto uncrowned monarch of the city; and he did his first canvassing (for Philip Voss, the beaten Labour candidate) at the age of 14 in the 1945 General Election. Throughout an incident-packed life, which includes a very cushy National Service in Paris where he became gigolo to a socialist and former resistance leader, a spell in the Merchant Navy, years in rep before sudden ?overnight? stardom in Till Death Do Us Part, several marriages (including Pat Phoenix, the femme fatale of Coronation Street, who died of cancer) and an alcoholic lost decade, he has clung to the political principles instilled into him in his youth. These have brought him at various times into collisions with Hugh Gaitskill, Wilson, John Prescott and Gordon Brown, and lifelong friendships with the likes of Michael Foot and Tony Benn. None of this, however, could have prepared him for the happenstance which led his daughter Cherie to fall in love with and marry the future Prime Minister. Tony Booth?s position as Tony Blair's father-in-law has given him an uniquely privileged insight into the life of the nation?s first political family. And he isn't shy of speaking his mind.