Please will you ‘Make Me Prime Minister’?
Tuesday: Make Me Prime Minister - (Channel 4, 9.15pm)
It’s been a difficult few years for Britain, and our Prime Ministers have faced some tough challenges, yet many people have still found themselves wondering if they could make a better job of running the country.
Now, members of the public are getting a chance to find out if they really do have what it takes to make it to Number 10 in the new series Make Me a Prime Minister.
It sees 12 ordinary (if very opinionated) Brits with views from across the political spectrum being sent out on the campaign trail. Under the watchful eye of Alastair Campbell and Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, two political heavyweights who know what it takes to succeed in office, they will be set a series of prime-ministerial challenges designed to test their leadership skills, resilience and integrity. (Insert your own jokes about how many of our real PMs have possessed all those qualities.)
The tasks can range from averting an international crisis by negotiating with a potential enemy of the country, to explaining their education policies to a group of five-year-olds, to being grilled by journalists after being given only minutes to prepare.
They’ll also have to face the electorate – after a fashion. To survive the show’s weekly vote, each candidate will need to convince former politicians, experienced journalists and most importantly the public, that they have the charisma, vision, and political acumen to lead. Those that don’t make the grade will leave, until only one would-be PM is left standing.
Luckily for Liz Truss, who hasn’t even clocked up a month in the job yet, the winner won’t get a chance to turf her out and take over. Instead, they’ll just have to make do with being named Channel 4’s Alternative Prime Minister.
However, Alistair Campbell is hopeful that the show could potentially launch a political career. He says: “Done properly, being Prime Minister is about a tough a job as anyone can do. It is great that so many people think they can do it and I am looking forward to working with Sayeeda Warsi to guide and challenge them to see if they really have what it takes. Fair to say politics is in a bit of a mess right now and I hope not only that some genuine political talent emerges through the series but also that it might inspire the watching public to get more engaged in politics and get properly involved.”
Baroness Sayeeda Warsi agrees, saying: “Serving as Chairman of the Conservative Party and a Cabinet minister in a coalition government, I was convinced values and ethics matter as much as political ideology. So Alastair Campbell and I are putting aside our political differences to focus on what it takes to lead. I hope we can inspire a new generation of passionate voters and politicians.”
After seeing some of the challenges the contestants face, will any viewers also find themselves feeling more sympathetic towards our real MPs? Perhaps we shouldn’t count on it.