Just watched Michael Portillo on BBC2 and find myself increasingly annoyed by his habit of introducing himself ("Hallo, I'm Michael") to people he is interviewing on his travels as if either a) he has just run into them or b) he has never met them. We all know perfectly well that he has met them before and probably had a rehearsal, or at least a discussion about what they are going to say, just before filming. He's not the only one to do this - Gerald Durrell used to do it many years ago - but why do they do it?
It just washes over me, to be honest. I was enchanted by all the fascinating and beautiful places he was travelling through. I love that journey from Marseilles to Antibes and the bit he presented about the Impressionists was good enough to stretch into a whole programme.
He has reinvented himself as cuddly and loveable -he and Diane Abbott really irritate me on Andrew Neil's politics show. He is probably quite worried at the moment, in connection with another of our threads.