Impressionist Rory Bremner on how he fooled MPs into thinking he was John Major

Virgin Radio

6 May 2022, 11:21

Rory Bremner

Credit: Getty

Impressionist Rory Bremner revealed how he used his talents to fool MPs into thinking he was John Major when he joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky this morning to talk about his new podcast, The Spying Game.

Rory has been widely regarded as Britain’s top satirical impressionist, and over the years, he has provided us with incredible imitations of the likes of Nelson Mandela, Tony Blair, David Cameron and Donald Trump.

Speaking with Chris on the Breakfast Show this morning (6 May), the comedian revealed how he once used his talent to fool MPs into thinking he was John Major, the Prime Minister at the time.

He explained: “I rang up MPs as John Major during the whole Euroskeptic time in 1994, I think. I spoke to one of them, and I said ‘I want to know what you’ve been saying behind my back’.”

He continued: “Anyway, we had a conversation, and I, as John Major, persuaded him to come to a conference and dance with Major on the last night.

“What I didn't know Chris, was that he was leading a rebellion. They were planning for John Major at the conference the following week, but because he'd spoken to John Major, in inverted commas, he called the whole thing off.

“He said, ‘No, I spoke to the Prime Minister, and so we're going to call it off.’ When he was told by the Cabinet Office, that actually it wasn't John Major, it was me. He said, ‘I don't believe it.’”

It’s a pretty extraordinary story, and Bremner has plenty more of those in his upcoming podcast, The Spying Game.

The podcast, which launches on Wednesday (11 May) with weekly episodes, will see Rory sit down with a different guest to try and separate the facts of true espionage from the fiction we see on screen.

His celebrity guests each week include Jed Mercurio OBE (Line of Duty, Bodyguard), Anthony Horowitz (Alex Rider, Sherlock Holmes, James Bond), Simon Kinberg (Mr And Mrs Smith, The 355), Lauren Wilkinson (American Spy), Ben Macintyre (Operation Mincemeat).

Speaking about what listeners can expect from the podcast, Rory said: “So it’s a series of 10 of just the most fantastic stories.

“I mentioned, I'm in rural Oxfordshire. But here in Oxfordshire about 30/40 years ago, you could pass the lady cycling to the post office, and she would have cycled home, got off her bike, put a cake in the oven gone down to the end of her garden into her shed, opened up her radio station and broadcast to the Russians secrets of the American nuclear bombs.

“So real-life contains the best stories, and a lot of them are inspiring.”

He added: “These are stories which came out many years later. And it's what Ben Macintyre calls the hidden war, we know about the sort of the bombs and the bullets and the things that are happening, the horrors that are happening because we see them in front of our eyes.

“But it's the bits that we don't see. And that's what's fascinating.”

Of course, Rory had some impressions of famous politicians to share with Chris and the team this morning, including that of Boris Johnson and Jacob Rhys-Mogg.

When asked if it was difficult to take on such public figures, Rory simply said: “It’s part of my job to make politicians that more ridiculous than they already are.”

The Spying Game launches on all streaming platforms Wednesday, 11 May.

For more great interviews listen to  The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky, weekdays from 6:30am on Virgin Radio, or  catch up on-demand here.