How much is it worth to have a celebrity present a load of trade awards? That's the question for Cornwall Council after the Western Morning News revealed that the authority, via the Cornwall Development Company, has paid TV presenters Kirsty Allsopp and Ben Fogle £6,000 each to present the annual tourism awards in 2009 and 2010.
It should be noted that CDC has said that this amount was covered by commercial sponsorship and so did not cost taxpayers anything directly.
But how much does having a celebrity matter? It's obviously nice for the award winners to have a (vaguely) famous face in the photos and tourism is a very important part of the Cornish economy. But if the sponsorship was not found to cover the costs, would it be considered a good use of taypayers' money?