Emily in the Treasury? Rishi Sunak reveals he watches Bridgerton and Emily in Paris

Chancellor declares he is ‘enormous fan’ of the BBC

Kate Devlin
Whitehall Editor
Tuesday 01 June 2021 08:04
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Fans of the hit Netflix programmes Bridgerton and Emily in Paris can now count a surprising public figure among their number – Rishi Sunak.

In an interview with Radio Times, the chancellor also said he was an “enormous fan” of the BBC. His comments come amid recent fears that Tory politicians are targeting the corporation as part of a so-called culture war.

Mr Sunak conceded that his tastes were “probably not quite the same” as those of some of his cabinet colleagues.

He joked: “Like Emily In Paris, I'm not sure how many others watched that. I'll check.”

He also said he has spent “a lot of time” watching the hit period drama Bridgerton, which was released in December.

Mr Sunak told the magazine of the special part some familiar television shows had played in his childhood.

“We were never allowed to eat in the sitting room, but Saturday nights were the exception,” he said.

“We would spread a plastic picnic blanket out and I’d go with my dad to pick up either Pizza Hut or KFC from Portswood in Southampton, and we – Mum, Dad and my younger brother and sister – would eat on this picnic mat and watch The A-Team, Baywatch and Blind Date, which were on one after the other.

“That was a special part of our growing up.”

He warned that the BBC must take “every step possible” to ensure lessons are learnt following Lord Dyson’s damning report into the handling of a 1995 Panorama interview with Diana, Princess of Wales.

But he described himself as an “enormous fan”, saying that it was his connection with home when he lived abroad.

“I was living thousands of miles away in California, and the BBC was still my homepage. There’s an emotional attachment to it,” he told the magazine.

Mr Sunak also praised the creative industries as one of the UK’s “crown jewels”.

“It’s something we do better than most other countries; we export it round the world,” he said.

“We should be enormously proud of it, and it’s part of our soft power and brand. Brand Britain.”

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