How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

Boris Johnson‘s love for Sir Winston Churchill perhaps stems from hearing his father recite the great man’s speeches when he was young.

From chomping on cigars to making the ‘V for Victory sign’, the PM has echoed his political hero on several occasions.

Most recently, Mr Johnson was pictured yesterday and today painting during his holiday in Marbella with his wife Carrie. That too was a hobby which Sir Winston had a great passion for. 

The former journalist has also written a bestselling biography of his idol. In the Churchill Factor, which was published in 2014, Mr Johnson made several subtle comparisons between himself and his wartime counterpart.

Mr Johnson is even said to enjoy regular power naps in Downing Street, a habit which Sir Winston said was essential to ‘renew all the vital forces’. 

The PM even previously admitted to trying to emulate Churchill, when he said in 2014 that ‘all of us fall so very short’ when attempting to do so.  

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

Boris Johnson’s love for Sir Winston Churchill perhaps stems from hearing his father recite the great man’s speeches when he was young. From chomping on cigars to making the ‘V for Victory sign’, the PM has echoed his political hero on several occasions. Pictured: Mr Johnson making the V sign outside Downing Street in 2019. Right: Sir Winston in a similar pose in 1943

Sir Winston is known across the world for his love of cigars. Dozens of photos show him with a cigar clamped between his teeth both during his time in Downing Street and well into retirement.

He is believed to have smoked as many as 10 cigars a day.

Whilst Mr Johnson is not believed to be a regular smoker, he admitted in during his campaign to be London mayor in 2008 that he carried a ‘cigar in my wash bag’ when travelling.

He added: ‘It has been there for some time now and I somehow never get round to smoking it. I now daren’t take it out, just in case it has brought me luck in my travels so far.’

While serving as vice chairman of the Conservative Party in 2003, Mr Johnson also smoked a cigar on TV show Room 101. 

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

Sir Winston is known across the world for his love of cigars. Dozens of photos show him with a cigar clamped between his teeth both during his time in Downing Street and well into retirement. He is believed to have smoked as many as 10 cigars a day. Whilst Mr Johnson is not believed to be a regular smoker, he admitted in during his campaign to be London mayor in 2008 that he carried a ‘cigar in my wash bag’ when travelling. And Mr Johnson smoked a cigar on TV show Room 101 in 2003

Mr Johnson is also said to take ‘power executive naps’ to refresh between meetings, something which Churchill used to do.

A Downing Street insider said last year: ‘It would not be entirely uncommon in the diary for him to shut the door and have a kip for half an hour or so — a power executive business nap to get him ready for the rest of the day.

Sir Winston spoke of how short bouts of sleep would help to rejuvenate him.

He said: ‘Nature has not intended mankind to work from eight in the morning until midnight without that refreshment of blessed oblivion which, even if it only lasts twenty minutes, is sufficient to renew all the vital forces.’

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

Mr Johnson is also said to take ‘power executive naps’ to refresh between meetings, something which Churchill used to do. Pictured left: Mr Johnson has a nap whilst watching the cricket at The Oval in 2018. Right: Sir Winston appears to get some shut-eye during the first meeting of the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe at the University Palace in Strasbourg, on August 10, 1949

Mr Johnson has also echoed Sir Winston when making speeches. Like his hero, the PM is a fan of writing his own speeches, rather than leaving it up to political aides to do so. 

When responding to France’s fury over the UK’s AUKUS pact with Australia and the US last month, the PM adopted ‘franglais’ to chide Emmanuel Macron.

He said he needed to ‘prenez un grip and ‘donnez-moi un break’. Mr Johnson has previously credited Sir Winston with deploying what he called ‘superb and menacing franglais’.

He highlighted how he told General Charles de Gaulle during the Second World War: ‘Si vous me double-crosserez, je vous liquiderai’ – a rough translation of ‘If you double-cross me, I will liquidate you’.

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

Mr Johnson has also echoed Sir Winston when making speeches. Like his hero, the PM is a fan of writing his own speeches, rather than leaving it up to political aides to do so

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

While speaking about his book in 2014, Mr Johnson explained how to speak like his hero. He said Churchill would use ‘short, Anglo Saxon zingers’ in speeches. Highlighting a key passage in the war leader’s most famous speech, in which Churchill said ‘never… was so much owed by so many to so few’, Mr Johnson explained: ‘at that point he absolutely has you because he using these very, very clear English Anglo-Saxon words we all know’. Above: Sir Winston making a speech

While speaking about his book in 2014, Mr Johnson explained how to speak like his hero.

He said Churchill would use ‘short, Anglo Saxon zingers’ in speeches.

Highlighting a key passage in the war leader’s most famous speech, in which Churchill said ‘never… was so much owed by so many to so few’, Mr Johnson explained: ‘at that point he absolutely has you because he using these very, very clear English Anglo-Saxon words we all know.

‘And within those concepts of so much, so many and so few, is concealed a huge wealth of emotion.’  

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA
, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA
Slide me

Even before he became PM, Mr Johnson had met the Queen on several occasions in his role as London Mayor. Sir Winston was Her Majesty’s first Prime Minister. They are seen meeting in 1950, when she was still Princess Elizabeth 

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

Whilst his hero liked to often be in the thick of the military action, Mr Johnson has also been pictured on British warships

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

Winston Churchill on board HMS Prince of Wales during his journey to America to meet with President Roosevelt in August 1941

Much like his hero, the PM has long combined his political and journalistic career with writing books.

Mr Johnson has written 11 books, including a novel and his 2014 biography of Sir Winston.

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

However, Sir Winston put Mr Johnson’s impressive output to shame. Over the course of more than 50 years, the one-time journalist had 14 published works, including his four-volume history of the Second World War.

Mr Johnson is so enamoured with his political hero that he wrote a bestselling biography of him during his time as London mayor in 2014.

In his book, the Churchill Factor, Mr Johnson made links between his own career and personality and that of Sir Winston.

In one passage, he noted how Churchill ‘might be thought of as a man whose love of lush language exceeded his good sense, who lacked that vital note of sincerity’ – all things which the PM himself has been accused of by critics.

Mr Johnson said in his book that Churchill was the ‘best speaker, the best writer, the best joke-maker, the bravest, the boldest and most original.’  

Sir Winston first raised his two fingers in a V-sign while making his ‘V for Victory’ speech in July 1941.

Throughout his leadership during the rest of the Second World War, the then PM made the sign repeatedly when he was seen in public.

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

Much like his hero, the PM has long combined his political and journalistic career with writing books

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

Sir Winston put Mr Johnson’s impressive output to shame. Over the course of more than 50 years, the one-time journalist had 14 published works, including his four-volume history of the Second World War 

Like him, Mr Johnson has been pictured on several occasions make the V-sign, most recently outside Downing Street shortly triggering the starting gun for the 2019 election campaign. 

A lesser-known hobby of Sir Winston’s was brick-laying, which he used to do in the garden of his Kent home, Chartwell.

Between 1925 and 1932, Sir Winston built a wall around part of his garden which still stands today.

In 1928, he wrote to fellow future PM Stanley Baldwin explaining how he had had a ‘delightful month building a cottage [at Chartwell] and dictating a book: 200 bricks and 2000 words a day’.  

During the 2019 election campaign, Mr Johnson also tried his hand at brick-laying while visiting a construction site in Bedford. The PM may have been thinking at the time how allusions to his hero would quickly be made. 

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA
, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA
Slide me

During the 2019 election campaign, Mr Johnson tried his hand at brick-laying while visiting a construction site in Bedford. A lesser-known hobby of Sir Winston’s was brick-laying, which he used to do in the garden of his Kent home, Chartwell. Between 1925 and 1932, Sir Winston built a wall around part of his garden which still stands today

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

Mr Johnson is not afraid of public stunts which attract the cameras. Whilst Sir Winston was largely more measured, he did entertain onlookers on occasion. Pictured left and right: Mr Johnson waves a top hat at the ‘Skills London’ careers fair in 2013; the then PM balancing his top hat on his walking stick in 1943

After Mr Johnson fell ill with coronavirus last year and ended up in intensive care, the PM was praised by some for the way in which he recovered and re-appeared in front of the nation.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Brexiteer Richard Tice claimed Mr Johnson had an ‘extraordinary opportunity to be a 21st century version of his hero, Churchill, leading the nation to defeat the enemy virus’.

Shortly after British troops had been humiliatingly evacuated from Dunkirk in 1940, Sir Winston famously vowed: ‘We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender…’ 

Sir Winston used painting as a helpful tool for battling his bouts of depression triggered by the disastrous Gallipoli campaign in the First World War in 1915.

He started off doing watercolours and then turned his attention to producing oil works, but was initially reluctant to part with them because he doubted their quality.

He produced most of his works in his studio at Chartwell.

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

Boris Johnson was last night seen sketching an image of the sun setting over the Mediterranean Sea from the Andalusian hillside

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

, How Boris Johnson has channelled his lifelong hero Winston Churchill, The Today News USA

Mr Johnson appears to share the hobby with his political hero, Sir Winston Churchill – a keen amateur artist himself, having created more than 500 paintings

Mr Johnson has frequently taken advantage of photo opportunities to show off his artistic skills, picking up paintbrushes on visits to at least three primary schools over the last 18 months.

The pictures taken yesterday showed him deep in concentration as he painted at the home of his friend Zac Goldsmith’s estate in Marbella

Wearing a crinkled white shirt and with a carefree look on his face, he daubed a canvas in an easel set up on the balcony that faces the sea.

Today, he was back at the easel as he brushed off criticism that he has fled abroad while Britain faces crisis after crisis – with his wife Carrie and young son Wilf also seen admiring his painting skills in the hills above Marbella this morning.

Mr Johnson was also criticised when he was photographed painting on the grand terrace yesterday. But in a show of defiance he was back out today drawing the stunning Spanish countryside. 

It came as Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden backed him up, insisting the PM ‘is never truly away’ from work on holiday, and claimed his boss remains fully ‘engaged’ with issues in the UK.

He said: ‘I hope your viewers will appreciate that the Prime Minister has been through a challenging time in a lot of different ways – he had Covid-19, he’s got a new child on the way, and very sadly he lost his mother just a few weeks ago. 

‘So this is a just a short break and he will be returning to the UK and I am expecting to see him later this week.’