With just five weeks to go until you have to decide whether or not you want him to be Prime Minister, Ed Miliband has given one of the broadcast interview performances of his life.
Despite most people’s attention turning towards the leaders’ debate on ITV tonight, the seven-way scrum is unlikely to tell us much about the election runners that we don’t already know.
But on Absolute Radio on April Fools’ Day, Mr Miliband gave such a likeable and human display that it seems he has a genuine shout at throwing off his “weird” reputation for good.
Mocking David Cameron’s boasts about eating super hot curries because “that shows what a tough guy he is”, the Labour leader was happy to say he’d cried recently watching the moving Bill Nighy film Pride about the plight of Welsh miners.
“Have I ever downed a pint? Yes! Oh you mean in one go? No...”
He said he had no problem with being called a “geek”, though failed the “geek test” given to him by host Geoff Lloyd having never played Dungeons and Dragons, spotted trains or joined a chess club.
Something could be made of the fact that Mr Miliband showed a genuine passion for a video game he played as a child, Manic Miner – but he also waxed lyrical on the virtues of baseball, cricket and snooker and took pre-recorded questions from a few of his sporting heroes, including Geoffrey Boycott.
And after chatting easily about his personal life and hobbies, Mr Miliband even managed to get in a bit about why he wants to be Prime Minister – and made it sound perfectly honourable.
He said: “I ran [to lead the party] for the same reasons I’m running for Prime Minister now, which is that I think our society is unfair – it works for the richest and doesn’t work for most people.
“We’ve got to change that so that we really do put every-day, working people first.”
Speaking about all the personal criticism he has faced in the press and online, Mr Miliband said: “What has kept me going is an inner belief in what we’re doing. If I was just running for this job to get my face on the wall at Downing Street that wouldn’t be enough –that would be just a power motivation.
“My motivation is to change the country.”
What Labour said on immigration
What Labour said on immigration
1/7 Ed Miliband
Labour leader Ed Miliband was accused of telling MPs to "move conversation on from immigration," as revealed by a leaked document made available in December to The Telegraph
2/7 Diane Abbott
Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, said: "Freedom of movement is an absolutely central component of the EU"
3/7 David Lammy
MP David Lammy said Labour's new "tough rhetoric" on immigration had upset his constituents
4/7 Frank Field
MP Frank Field was reported in December to have said that immigrants are contributing "a lot less" than people think to the economy
5/7 Chuka Umunna
Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna said: "People absolutely have legitimate concerns about controlling the numbers that come in and out"
6/7 Lucy Powell
MP Lucy Powell, Shadow Minister for the cabinet, is reportedly responsible for approving the leaflet that told doorsteppers to "move conversation away from immigration"
7/7 Yvette Cooper
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said: "Immigration is important for Britain but it has got to be controlled and managed so the system is fair for everyone"
Judging by the reaction on Twitter, it seems people are starting to believe him:
Also, ICYMI Ed Miliband's interview on Absolute Radio was pretty good https://t.co/mcGcsvTRDV— Aisha S Gani (@aishagani) April 2, 2015
So much more natural than Cameron. Like a real person, not a robot. Ed Miliband on Absolute Radio: Full Interview: https://t.co/vwsWV49m1M— Julie (@CherriJulie) April 2, 2015
Geoff Lloyd's interview with Ed Miliband (on Absolute Radio) is quite a bit more revealing than Jeremy Paxman's: https://t.co/MZOgwkaJxn— Pam Smith ن (@revpamsmith) April 2, 2015
The Ed Miliband we never get to see from the mainstream media. Really nice interview with Absolute Radio http://t.co/EnZUhBOTX9— Martin Heneghan (@MartinHeneghan) April 1, 2015
Ed Miliband on Absolute Radio: Full Interview: https://t.co/fHVcEwM7QE haha what a sound guy.— Ruairidh MacKenzie (@RuairidhMck93) April 1, 2015
Best I've seen Ed Miliband, on Absolute radio: https://t.co/KvZFTnVzde— Stuart Muir (@stumue) April 1, 2015
That Ed Miliband Absolute Radio thing is genuinely good, comes across as properly likeable. Not exactly a tough grilling, but easy get wrong— Sean Kemp (@Sean_Kemp) April 1, 2015
Here’s that funny and enlightening (on a personal level at least) interview that Ed Miliband did with Absolute Radio http://t.co/PLhSu62Yzx— Mark Ferguson (@Markfergusonuk) April 1, 2015
Mr Miliband will be sandwiched between Ukip’s Nigel Farage and Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood during tonight’s debate, which begins at 8pm on ITV1.Reuse content