The Duke of Marlborough let slip the most surprising secret of his rackety past during the time he was banged-up in prison: he became a Muslim to make sure he got enough to eat.

His change of faith apparently allowed him extra rations while he was behind bars.

Answering questions at the China Exchange from provocateur Sir David Tang, who prides himself on giving society guests a tough grilling, the former Marquess of Blandford confessed: 'I changed religion when I went to jail. I became a Muslim because you got more food. It wasn't the time of Ramadan. I luckily hit it just right – just afterwards!'

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