Nick Clegg briefly won over his critics last night on The Last Leg, in an appearance that saw him call Boris Johnson "more of a t**" than a statesman and admit he has wanted to slap David Cameron on multiple occasions.
In a lively interview on the late-night chat show, the Deputy Prime Minister took a ribbing from Adam Hills and co-hosts Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker.
After putting Clegg in the hot seat, Brooker made sure he didn’t evade questions with his handy “bull*** buzzer”, telling him: "I want a guarantee from you, right here, right now, no bull****".
Clegg’s broken promises over university fees were unsurprisingly brought up early on, with Brooker asking: "How sh***y do you feel about what you did with the tuition fees?"
Clearly uncomfortable, Clegg replied: "Ermmmm, I'm not Prime Minister, so I can't do everything that I want." But when pushed to describe how guilty he felt on a scale of one to ten, he replied: "Nine-and-a-half".
Brooker also posed the 'statesman or a t***' question to Clegg, asking which one he thought he was more of. He replied: “A bit more of the latter”.
However, he would to not be drawn into answering who he preferred over the Prime Minister or George Osborne, but did say Labour’s Douglas Alexander, the shadow foreign secretary, talks “a lot of sense on Europe”.
Clegg invited the Prime Minister to sit in the bull**** hotseat after him, but denied wishing he had gone into a coalition with Labour instead, saying: "I just think they have both got it a bit wrong at the moment, actually. I think they are both lurching left and right."
The conversation took a (slightly) more serious turn when Clegg was questioned about the Russian president Vladimir Putin. This time, Clegg avoided the ‘statesman or t**’ choice posed by the presenters but did suggest Putin’s annexation of Crimea was spurred by “panic”.
“I get the impression he has almost backed himself into a corner a bit," he said, "he sort of panicked about what was going on in … some people in the press particularly sort of describe him as this white cat, as if he is easy to control – I actually think he panicked terribly when he saw all of these demonstrations in Kiev and Ukraine. He thought, 'well we are going to lose control in Ukraine,' then he charged into Crimea and I think he’s stumbled actually, and he’s now lost a lot of friends and it's bad for the Russian people.”
The television appearance was soon trending on Twitter.
I kind of love Nick Clegg now, love an underdog #cleggleg; Christina Hancock (@ChristinaJaneH) January 31, 2015
@nick_clegg you are too funny and intelligent to be in politics , very brave to go on the last leg .; marguerite bridgman (@pearl365) January 31, 2015
As a Union shop steward I've got to say Nick Clegg has gone up massively in my estimation after watching a recording of Last Leg #cleggleg; Colin Schofield (@colinjyorkie777) January 31, 2015
@nickclegg I absolutely hated you and the government for raising tuition fees for us students.. But after last night.. You have my vote!!; Tobes Green (@Tobiasmatthews1) January 31, 2015
Clegg even managed to squeeze an analogy about the election involving Nando's, describing not voting as like going into the high street food chain, not putting in an order and then complaining if you were unhappy with what you were served.
Last but not least, Clegg threw a melon at Brooker, who had a blade taped to his foot to despatch the oncoming fruit.
Brooker also took the opportunity to mock Clegg’s part in the Coalition government when he grabbed hold of the presenter's pocket handkerchief. Brooker, who has a disability, told him: "You've done enough bad things to the disabled."
Twitter seemed largely amused by his appearance but, as Clegg is already more than aware, you can’t win over everyone.
Why are people allowing themselves to be entertained by Nick Clegg after what he pulled in 2010? #cleggleg; Robert Hingley (@Robert_Hingley) January 31, 2015
The episode can be watched in full on Channel 4oDReuse content