How to charm a US president

As Boris Johnson ponders how to woo the newly-elected President Joe Biden, Jack Blanchard looks back at how past prime ministers have tried to charm their counterparts in the White House — with varying degrees of success.

Theresa May’s former comms chief Katie Perrior reflects on the thankless task of trying to build a relationship with the erratic Donald Trump. Historians Andrew Roberts and Richard Aldous look back at how Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher successfully charmed Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan respectively. Former U.K. Ambassador to Washington Christopher Meyer reflects on the key role diplomats play in oiling the wheels of a new relationship — and on the love-in between Tony Blair and George W. Bush which ended so disastrously for the British PM. And Gordon Brown’s former adviser Stewart Wood mulls over the agonies of a less successful relationship with a stand-offish Barack Obama.

Be sure to check out our bookshop to find more from our guests and the research for this episode.



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