Michael Portillo Biography
Michael Portillo full name Michael Denzil Xavier Portillo, is a British journalist, broadcaster, and former Member of Parliament and Cabinet Minister of the Conservative Party.
Michael attended a grammar school, Harrow County, and went to Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he gained a first class degree in History.
He left Cambridge in 1975, and for a year worked for a shipping company. He moved to the Conservative Research Department in 1976, where he spent three years. At the General Election in 1979 he was responsible for briefing Margaret Thatcher before her press conferences. For the next two years he was special adviser to the Secretary of State for Energy.
He worked for Kerr McGee Oil (UK) Ltd from 1981 – 1983. He contested the Birmingham Perry Bar seat at the 1983 Election.
Michael returned to politics as a special adviser to the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Nigel Lawson) and in December 1984 won the by-election in Enfield Southgate, caused by the murder of Sir Anthony Berry MP in the Brighton bombing. Michael represented the seat for thirteen years but was defeated in the 1997 Election.
He joined the Government in 1986, and remained a member until 1997. He was a whip, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Social Security, Minister of State for Transport, Minister of State for Local Government and Inner Cities; and as a Cabinet Minister was Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Secretary of State for Employment, and Secretary of State for Defence. He was admitted to the Privy Council in 1992.
After his 1997 electoral defeat, Michael returned to Kerr McGee as an adviser. He also turned to journalism. He wrote about walking as a pilgrim on the Santiago Way, and working as a hospital porter. He had a weekly column in The Scotsman. He had a three part series for Channel 4 about politics Portillo’s Progress, and a programme in BBC2’s Great Railway Journeys series, which was partly a biography of his late father, and radio programmes on Wagner and the Spanish Civil War.
Michael was re-elected to Parliament in a by-election in Kensington and Chelsea in November 1999 and was Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer February 2000 – September 2001. Following the Conservatives’ election defeat in 2001, Michael unsuccessfully contested the leadership of the party. In 2005 Michael left the House of Commons.
He has made a number of television programmes for BBC2 including Art that shook the world: Richard Wagner’s Ring, Portillo in Euroland, Elizabeth I in the series Great Britons, When Michael Portillo became a single mum, Portillo Goes Wild in Spain (a natural history programme) and The Science of Killing (for Horizon). There followed documentaries on the unburied bodies from the Spanish Civil War and on Guantanamo Bay. In 2010 BBC Radio 4 carried his 3-part series “Democracy on Trial”. For BBC4 he has made several series of Dinner with Portillo, a discussion programme, and in 2008 The Lady’s not for Spurning (about Margaret Thatcher’s legacy). Since 2006 he has been on The Moral Maze team on BBC Radio 4. In 2003 he began the weekly political discussion programme This Week on BBC1 with fellow presenters Andrew Neil and Diane Abbott MP. He has made 100 programmes in the series Great British Railway Journeys and Great Continental Railway Journeys for BBC2. For six years he was a weekly columnist on The Sunday Times and was the theatre critic of The New Statesman between 2004 and 2006.
In 2008 he chaired the judges of the Man Booker prize, in 2011 he chaired the Art Fund Prize and in 2012 he chaired the committee recommending grants for endowment to arts and heritage institutions under the government’s Catalyst programme.
Michael was a member of the International Commission on Missing Persons in the former Yugoslavia (which organises the identification of massacre victims) from 1998 to 2012. He sat on of the Board of BAE Systems plc from 2002 to 2006 and of Kerr McGee Corporation during 2006. He is President of DebRA, the national charity working on behalf of people with the genetic skin blistering condition, Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). He was British chairman of the British-Spanish Tertulias (an annual high level conference) 2004-2008.
Michael Portillo Age
Michael Portillo was born on 26 May 1953 in Bushey, Hertfordshire, England. His father, Luis, had come to Britain as a refugee at the end of the Spanish Civil War, and his mother, Cora, was brought up in Fife. She met Luis while she was an undergraduate at Oxford.
Michael Portillo Siblings
This information will be updated.
Michael Portillo Wife
In 1982 Michael and Carolyn married. They had first met when they were at school. Carolyn had become a chartered accountant and for the last fifteen years has been a ‘headhunter’ with Spencer Stuart Associates.
Michael Portillo Children
This information will be updated.
Michael Portillo Height
Michael Portillo stands at 5 ft 11 in (1.81 m).
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Michael Portillo Net Worth
Michael Portillo has an estimated net worth of $9 Million.
Michael Portillo Great British Railway Journeys – Michael Portillo Great Continental Railway Journeys
In 2009, he filmed a series titled Great British Railway Journeys, in which he explored, with the aid of George Bradshaw’s 1863 tourist handbook, how the railways had a profound influence on the social, economic and political history of Britain. The series commenced broadcasting in January 2010. A second series was broadcast on BBC Two in 2011, and to date there has been a total of nine series. Portillo also presented a similar television series called Great Continental Railway Journeys, following Portillo around continental Europe, using his George Bradshaw’s 1913 Continental Railway Guide. A second series was broadcast in 2013, and to date there has been a total of six series. In 2014, as part of the BBC’s World War I commemorations, Portillo presented Railways of the Great War with Michael Portillo over five nights in August 2014. In early 2016, Portillo began a new BBC travel documentary series, Great American Railroad Journeys, which saw him travelling across the United States by rail.
is Michael Portillo Gay
Source: www.theguardian.com (Names have been changed in this article)
Michael Portillo’s former gay lover, Nigel Hart, criticised him for implying that his “homosexual experiences” were confined to his student days at Cambridge. Writing in today’s Guardian, Nigel Hart, who conducted an eight-year affair intermittently with Mr Portillo in the 1970s, accuses him of “being somewhat economical with the actualité” for describing his homosexuality as youthful experimentation.
The former defence secretary said his homosexuality had ceased long before he was elected as an MP in 1984.
“When Michael came out in the [half-hearted] fashion … he tried to pave his way to power by a cowardly and misleadingly meagre version of what actually happened,” writes Mr Hart, who met Mr Portillo in 1971. Their affair ended when Mr Portillo decided to marry.
Prof Alan Sinfield, author of Gay and After, a study of homosexuality in the nineties, believes that, whatever he says, Portillo’s university homosexuality suggests he is gay.
`I know many gay men who have done what he has done, and they almost always relapse – so to speak. If you like men, and go to bed with men, you tend to remain interested in men.
`We ought to take seriously that he believes in Tory doctrine – that traditional families are best, and gays should not serve in the military – but repressed sexual desires tend to return at unguarded moments.
`I have never been straight in my soul. I think you either are, or are not.’
Dr Glenn Wilson, an expert in male sexuality at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, who argues that sexuality is defined long before a teenager experiences the freedom of student life. While some adolescent boys might experience a `gay phase’ in their early teens, a period of `temporary’ homosexuality in the late teens and early twenties is extremely rare.`Our sexual preference is probably laid down before the age of three, and probably before we are born,’ he says.
Not everyone agrees. While the search for a gay gene goes on – American scientists claim to have uncovered evidence that homosexuality is inherited by men from their mothers through a gene on the X chromosome – some researchers say sexuality can change. A man can be straight one moment, then gay, before reverting to heterosexuality.
Andy Medhurst, a lecturer at the University of Sussex, agrees. It is possible, he says, to have same-sex encounters without necessarily being gay. Portillo is right when he says he is not gay; but, he goes on, he is probably wrong to describe himself as straight. `The missing term in this debate is bisexuality. But defining yourself as bisexual is very different from admitting homosexual encounters while remaining heterosexual. Prejudice still prevents many men admitting the merest hint of homosexuality. Lots of married men would lead different, homosexual lives, given the choice.’
So is Portillo straight, gay or bisexual? The evidence from the world of academia suggests he is a repressed bisexual. But what about the real world? In Edinburgh and Brighton mixed-sexuality couples say homosexuality extends way beyond the gay community. Some people want `the best of both worlds’ and go for it. Others choose to hide their feelings.
As Robert puts it: `I was straight when I was a teenager. I fell in love with a local girl, got married and had two children. It was not until I was in my early twenties that I began to fancy other men. `I love living with Jim and I get on very well with my wife. In fact, we are still married. I have enjoyed life in more ways than most men can ever imagine. And at least I gave my mother grandchildren before I decided to change course.’
Michael Portillo Twitter
He is not on Twitter.
Michael Portillo Books
- Great American Railroad Journeys (2017)
- Democratic Values and the Currency: A Lecture Given to the Institute of Economic Affairs at Church House,
- Westminster, on Wednesday 14 January 1998 (1998)
- The Blue Horizon (1993)
- A Vision for the 1990s (1992)
- The Ghost of Toryism Past: The Spirit of Conservatism Future (1997)
- Beyond New Labour: The 1998 Swinton Lecture (1999)
- Portillo?’s Hidden History of Britai (2018)
- The Green Line: The Division of Cyprus : a Photographic Record (1998)
- The Economics of John Smith (1992)