John Humphrys says listeners were wrong on his views about Boris Johnson and Brexit

John Humphrys on Radio 4's Today programme. Photograph: BBC.

John Humphrys on Radio 4's Today programme. Photograph: BBC. - Credit: Archant

Former Today programme presenter has hinted some listeners got the wrong impression of him after saying he felt 'very strongly' about staying in the EU and said he also is 'not a fan' of Boris Johnson.

Humphrys was a presenter on BBC Radio 4's flagship programme for more than 30 years until he stood down last year, and has since taken up presenting a weekly show on Classic FM and work as a columnist.

During appearances on the programme before he retired he was accused by some of being a 'spokesperson for Boris Johnson', including by the former deputy prime minister of Ireland.

But now, no longer bound by the broadcaster's impartiality rules, Humphrys is now free to divulge his true feelings about the prime minister.


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During an interview with Times Radio, due to be broadcast on Sunday, Humphrys was asked whether he had voted for the current Number 10 incumbent.

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'No, I didn't vote for Johnson, I've not been a fan of Johnson,' said the combative interviewer.

'I think I did one of those slightly silly things like voting Green... I obviously couldn't bring myself to vote for Corbyn and I'm afraid I'm not a fan of Boris Johnson.

'I can say that now, I couldn't say that a year ago, could I?

'I don't trust him. Apart from anything else, I don't trust him and you have to be able to trust politicians.

'There's a lovely old Welsh expression, I'm not allowed to use it because this is public broadcasting, but he's full of something; something and wind.

'He's great at the bluster bit but he's not too good when it comes to delivering.'

The Mastermind presenter said he could not see that the Conservative Party leader had 'gained' from his upbringing and private school education.

'His background is, for somebody like me… a working class boy and all that, anathema,' he added.

'You know, he had all the benefits, all the advantages of going to the finest school in the world, if that's what Eton really is… and a wonderful university, all the rest of it.

'I can't quite see what he gained from all that. He's not a man I hugely admire, let's put it like that.'

But the Daily Mail columnist said it was 'complete rubbish' that he had a dislike for all politicians.

He added: 'I mean, they are people and some of them are jolly good people who go into politics to try to make the world a better place.

'And some of them are tossers, just like the rest of the human race.'

Humphrys reiterated during the interview that he voted Remain during the 2016 European referendum, an admission he first made in his autobiography published last year, A Day Like Today.

Despite facing complaints that he was guilty of pro-Brexit bias during his Today tenure, he told the radio station about how, after growing up in the post-war period, he had become convinced a common market would help sustain peace between nations.

'I voted Remain and felt fairly strongly about it,' he continued.

'But obviously I hope it didn't show. I did my job, I hope, which is to question both sides with equal vim and vigour and all the rest of it.'

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