Boris Johnson's Vogue-style campaign video sparks comparisons with David Brent

Clip also angers fans of The Clash after PM claims punk band is among his favourites

The aim was to position himself as an everyman but in the end he looked more like David Brent.

The Conservatives’ latest campaign video sees Boris Johnson stroll about the party headquarters answering questions posed by an unseen man from behind a camera. The PM makes himself a cup of tea in the office kitchen and casually greets a passing man.

The four-minute video apes the genre that has been so successful for Vogue in which an off-camera reporter rocks up at the home or workplace of a celebrity and hits them with 73 quickfire questions while following them around.

Boris Johnson was asked 12 questions that were either designed to give him the chance to give a potted version of his campaign pitch, or show himself as a man of the people who starts the day by walking the dog, tries to get Thai curry delivered to No 10, makes oven chips and is a fan of Marmite and the Rolling Stones.

But the video quickly prompted unflattering comparisons. Some viewers mocked the prime ministerial performance – which contained the line that the Tory Brexit deal was “oven-ready, so slam it in the microwave” – as looking like an audition for the lead role in The Office.

“David Brent” was trending on UK Twitter on Tuesday night as people shared gifs from the video including the moment Johnson casually greets a man who walks past him in the video.

Boris Johnson auditioning for the role of David Brent in The Office remake

— Lucas Ward (@_LucasWard_) November 13, 2019

“The Clash” also trended on Twitter, after Johnson claimed that his favourite band was either them or the Rolling Stones. The claim drew the ire of Clash fans who pointed out that the band’s music was full of leftwing views and that the lead singer and guitarist, Joe Strummer, was a committed socialist, a word Johnson uses against Jeremy Corbyn as a slur.

The comment gave social media users the chance to resurface a parody video made after Johnson prorogued parliament, which features Johnson and the Queen signing The Clash’s I Fought the Law and the Law Won.

Lying racist Boris Johnson vs anti-racist band The

— #PowerToTheNorth (@TheBirmingham6) November 12, 2019

But it’s quite possible the video was designed to be deliberately bad. In the Conservatives’ daily campaign email supporters were asked to share it far and wide. They haven’t needed to – Johnson’s detractors have done the job for them.


Kate Lyons

The GuardianTramp

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