Nov 202014
 

What is Boris Johnson?

A better question might be: what isn’t Boris Johnson? He is, inter alia, the Mayor of London; a prolific author, journalist and, as of this month, a biographer of Winston Churchill; a once and possibly future Member of Parliament; a potential future Prime Minister himself despite being a “self-styled joke” who occasionally gets stuck on a zip-line; an American by birth (and U.S. passport holder).

He is also, as you’ll hear in our latest Freakonomics Radio podcast, a painter of old cheese boxes, a collector of wooden tennis rackets, and a man who would inspire England’s national soccer team by copying how Saddam Hussein’s son Uday reportedly inspired the Iraqi national team: “When they come back next time, we should just, you know, threaten to do something in the changing rooms of those guys unless they sharpen up.”

The episode is called “The Man Who Would Be Everything.”

 

 

Transcript:

Stephen J. DUBNER: On this week’s episode, Boris Johnson drops by to chat about being: Mayor of London; a writer; a great admirer of — and now biographer of — Prime Minister Winston Churchill; a potential future prime minister himself; and, most singularly, he chats about just being Boris Johnson:

Boris JOHNSON: I love… I love… old wooden tennis rackets.

DUBNER: There are other old things he loves.

JOHNSON: I collect… old cheese boxes.

DUBNER: At one point in the conversation, the need arose to remove his shoes:

JOHNSON: No, yeah, hang on… I’m going to take them off… I’m just going to see if I can see what’s in the…. these are so worn…. that you can’t… hang on… uh… oh God.

DUBNER: Welcome to FREAK-quently Asked Questions, the Boris Johnson edition.

 

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