David Cameron has an unlikely taste in music – he's the first Tory PM to dig the Smiths, for instance – but we rarely thought he was making much of it up.
Until Monday, that is. Speaking to reporters in Westminster, the prime minister let it be known that he had once voted for Will Young on The X Factor: "because my daughter made me". Which is all very eclectic (80s indie and early-00s talent-show crap on the same iPod!) but it is also demonstrably false. Will Young won Pop Idol (not The X Factor) in 2002, at which point Nancy Gwen Cameron – née 2004 – was but a pair of X chromosomes lurking deep inside mama and papa Cameron. Whoops.
Still, let's look at the positives: for politicians worth their salt, this is a badge of honour. Cameron joins an illustrious list of suits to have tried, and failed, to get down with the kids. Gordon Brown memorably told a men's mag that he was a fan of the indie band, Arctic Monkeys. Pressed on his favourite song, however, Brown was unable to think of anything to say, beyond the astute observation that "they are very loud".
Not that Brown's predecessor Tony Blair – who had after all once fronted the student group Ugly Rumours – fared any better. In the early 00s, an Asian television host asked Tony Blair if he listened to bhangra. Blair looked awkward, and mumbled something about it always being on in the house – despite its absence from the charts and mainstream music stations. A likely story.
John McCain, former Republican presidential nominee, got into a similar pickle over his professed television preferences. "We like the reruns of Seinfeld," he said in 2008. "I really like Curb Your Enthusiasm. I kind of like Dexter, too, although it certainly has a macabre side to it. I'll tell you that [wife] Cindy likes Big Love — I haven't watched it much, but she enjoys that. And I like The Wire a lot, too. That's a great show."
That's quite a lot of TV, particularly for someone as busy as a presidential candidate. Did he really have time to watch all that? Er, no, it later transpired. He just reads the scripts – "because obviously with my schedule and such, I don't get a chance to watch them on a regular basis." Sure, John. Sure.
David Cameron himself perhaps took inspiration from his wife, Samantha. In her youth, Sam Cam was said to have been bosom pals with the rapper Tricky – though other reports suggests they merely played pool a few times.
And nor is husband Dave completely new to this kind of thing. Until this week, he hadn't fibbed outright about music – but he did once claim to have eaten a working man's pasty in Leeds station, even though there was no pasty vendor there at the time. But perhaps his daughter knows otherwise.
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