Things you didn’t know, or perhaps had forgotten, about people once in the news, and perhaps still newsworthy, according to Tatler’s Thousand Most Socially Significant People in 1992.
Michael Portillo ( b 1953)
Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Portillo is occasionally tipped to become Prime Minister. Shrewd, direct, with, as Private Eye puts it, the eyes of an assassin, lips of a tyrant, he gets his hair cut and we all have to read about it. His recreational interests include opera, Trollope and the Michelin Guide, said to be his Bible. He was part of the Omega project ( a blueprint of right wing policy) and backed a bill for hanging.
Private Eye doesn’t seem interested in him, now that he has abandoned active politics. Today he earns a living by going on train journeys around the UK and Europe clutching his trusty Bradshaw and a Baedeker. An avuncular figure who looks as if he might be the kind of chap you’d have a pint (or glass of red) with down the pub. One wonders as if he is still pro-hanging. The subject hasn’t yet come up, though while touring Spain he did dilate on the life of his father, a revolutionary during the Spanish Civil War.
Timothy Clifford, former Director of the Scottish National Gallery (b 1946)
‘Dynamic fogey who looks like an arty merchant banker. Rosy-cheeked and Regency clad, he has a ridiculously posh voice and is very well-connected.’ Continue reading