STARTLING revelations that the writing partner of Lowton author Peter Hough had once been a man will not affect their working relationship.

And Peter of Silsden Avenue told The Journal that he had known about the sex-change operation of Jenny Randles, with whom he co-wrote the hit TV series 'Strange But True', for two years.

A weekend nationaL newspaper revealed how Randles, who is one of the world's top experts of the paranormal, including UFO's, had been born a boy and given the name Christopher Paul. She had first broken the news to TV presenter Michael Aspel and her close friend, and TV host Eamonn Holmes.

Peter, 42, who started working with Randles nine years ago, said: "Jenny and I have always had a totally professional writing partnership but we have also been pals as well. I have known about her sex-change since before it appeared in the press two years earlier. It came to light then because of professional jealousy, and because someone told the papers who checked Jenny's background, including getting hold of a copy of her birth certificate.

"The fact that she had an operation doesn't change the person, and you would have to be something less than a person to change your attitude to someone with whom you have always had a good personal and professional relationship.

"I have always thought of Jenny as a 'mate' and a colleague and I have sympathised with the fact that from the age of five she knew she was trapped in the wrong body, and any liberal minded person will respect this as well as admiring her strength to speak out.

"My wife Valerie and I realise there is a lot of professional jealousy about and this is one reason why this story has reared its head again."

Peter, who is standing for the Liberal Democrats in the council elections, has just finished writing another book with Jenny - 'Postcards from Heaven'.

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