Michael Portillo

Diary: Ministry for silly honours

After being reminded that John Cleese can understandably take exception to ill-founded fears his funny bone may have been surgically removed in recent years, I would like to place on record the confident belief his best work could still be ahead of him. (Just pretend it's some other bloke in those rubbish AA adverts). Now the old boy proudly informs us that he wouldn't still be plain old Mr Cleese to you and I, if he had seen fit to accept a peerage from Paddy Ashdown back in 1999.

Village People: PM goes undercover on the campaign trail

David Cameron spent three hours in Oldham East and Saddleworth, scene of a by-election where some people suspect the Tories are pulling their punches to avoid hurting the Lib Dems. The Prime Minister's visibility was so low at times that reporters on the scene starting wondering what he might be doing.

Party Of The Week: A night of pop art for Rankin and friends

The singer Joss Stone, Duran Duran's Nick Rhodes, magazine editor Jefferson Hack and My Summer of Love actress Natalie Press were out in force on Monday night for the private view of Rankin's exhibition Destroy at London's Phillips de Pury Gallery.

Pandora: Servants of the people

While others around you lose their heads, what's the answer to 12 across? That was the question bugging fun-loving environment minister Phil Woolas, when a Pandora mole walked in to his office last week.

Michael Portillo: My Life in Media

Michael Portillo, 54, is a broadcaster and regular commentator on BBC1's This Week. He made his name as a Conservative MP and minister and was one of Margaret Thatcher's keenest admirers and champion of her poll tax. Under John Major he became the Defence Secretary. Tonight he rekindles his admiration for the Iron Lady on BBC4, in Portillo on Thatcher: The Lady's Not For Spurning, at 10pm.

More headlines