A new career path has been established for the determinedly ambitious. It’s one that guarantees a legacy for all who want nothing more than to make a difference… and a fortune.

Fancy giving it a shot? OK, listen up. Here’s what you need to do.

First, you get yourself elected as an MP. Be serious about your politics and keep your nose clean enough within your party to be promoted beyond your ability. Stick with your boring day job with the required obedience to make you a household name and then… go showbiz!

Everybody’s at it. Or nearly everybody, anyway. The sacked and/or failed football manager, who becomes a respected expert TV pundit on whose word everyone hangs, has been replaced – or maybe joined – by the dumped and fed-up politician selling out wholesale to the world of entertainment.

Last week former Labour leader Ed Miliband took to BBC Radio 2 as host of the prime time Jeremy Vine Show.

Ed stepped up to the mic with unbridled enthusiasm, chatting to callers and interviewees excitedly about a number of critical issues, including the superiority of old fashioned toilets with chains, over modern loos with buttons.

Anne Pickles Then he made valiant attempts to get down with the kids – or with those who wished they were still kids – by waxing lyrical about death metal at Glastonbury. He tried to sing with Napalm Death’s frontman Barney Greenway. And failed.

“More throat” Greenway pleaded. But still the Miliband growl was as gentle as a Julie Andrews lullaby. Never mind. A popular media future is assured for at-a-loose-end Ed.

This week, Iain Duncan Smith – one of the most hated men in British politics – is occupying the same spot. Jeremy Hunt, who qualifies by equal national contempt, must be livid.

But if IDS falls at the first hurdle, there’s always the Celebrity Jungle.

I can’t help finding this “I wanna be adored” fixation in so many of our leading politicos decidedly distasteful.

I’m one of those who now wonders whether Ed Balls was ever on the ball, so to speak, when he was shadow chancellor or was he really setting his calculated sights on showbiz fame as a comic ballroom dancer and all-round buffoon?

Similar suspicions rest with Ann Widdecombe, who made her mark as a politician with serious, frequently bullish opinion before making a living out of making a fool of herself publicly.

Love him or loathe him, George Galloway was a man not to be ignored – until he pretended to be a cat on Celebrity Big Brother, in order to be petted creepily by Rula Lenska.

Doesn’t it kind of make you wonder where the new generation of statesmen and women might be coming from? For what will they be remembered – contribution to country or cracking great gags on Have I Got News For You? Maybe we should ask Boris.

If and when Theresa May falls spectacularly flat on her face, what will she do to fill her vacuum of time? Perhaps she’ll be a presenter on Woman’s Hour, maybe be a judge on The Voice or an addition to the team of Bake Off or Songs of Praise hosts.

Nothing is impossible in this emerging career trajectory from avowed public service to frivolous, enrapture the mindless masses, fame. It’s disappointing, to say the least.

Youngsters used to be criticised cruelly for wanting to be famous, for fame’s own sake. It was unfair condemnation, since opportunities for more traditional careers were – and still are – thin on the ground in this increasingly sorry little country.

Now, it’s the very people who knocked them who are greedily grabbing the shallow fame chances. The snatch comes from their elders, who snootily appointed themselves their betters. Sneaky that and a self-serving betrayal on so many levels.