Rupert Murdoch described how he had been instructed by Downing Street to enter No 10 by the back door when visiting David Cameron.
In a frank exchange with MPs, the media mogul shone a light on his relationship with the last two prime ministers, describing how his young children became friendly with those of Gordon Brown.
Asked why he had used the rear entrance to Downing Street, he responded: "I was asked to", adding "to avoid photographers at the front I imagine". He then offered that he had been asked to Downing Street by Mr Brown "many times" and also "through the back door".
It was put to the News Corp chairman that the arrangement was unusual. "That's the judgement of the prime minister or chief of staff," said Mr Murdoch.
Later, he spoke of his family's rapport with the Browns, saying his wife, Wendi, had "struck up a great friendship" with Sarah Brown and that their children "played together on many occasions".