Friday 2 December 2016

Portillo: I put people off as an MP because I looked stressed

Published 13/09/2016 | 00:06

Michael Portillo says he may have appeared arrogant when he was an MP ... but he was just stressed
Michael Portillo says he may have appeared arrogant when he was an MP ... but he was just stressed

Michael Portillo has said he is more popular as a television presenter than he was as an MP because his stressed look when he was a politician put people off.

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The former Tory minister reinvented himself after quitting politics in 2005 and has won fans fronting the BBC's Great Railway Journeys programmes.

He told Radio Times: "I think one of the reasons I was so unpopular [is that] I was thought to be very arrogant.

"I may have been, but I was very stressed and I think on television if you look stressed people tend to be against you.

"Whereas to be on television as a presenter, it's very easy not to look stressed because you're saying your own thing, you can have another take and so on and so on.

"It's not like being Humphrys-ed or Paxo-ed."

Portillo said when he started out in front of the camera, "having just been in politics and all that, I think I was quite zipped up, quite uptight, and I certainly am not now".

The 63-year-old said he felt "very lucky" that he never became prime minister.

"I think it was a burden of responsibility that I wasn't cut out for, really," he said.

"And I think, you know, the process is largely self-selecting.

"On the whole, the people who aren't meant to make it, don't make it. You need a particular sort of resilience."

:: This week's Radio Times is on sale on Tuesday.

Press Association

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