Tony Blair and David Cameron tell reality TV show what a PM needs to succeed

Sir Tony Blair and David Cameron have said that a “thick skin” and “a plan, a team, values” are key to being a successful prime minister.

The two former PMs shared their advice on what it takes to lead the nation with the finalists of the Channel 4 series Make Me Prime Minister.

Sir Tony, who led the Labour government of 1997 to 2007, said: “Don’t do it unless you’re prepared to take criticism.

“It’s a big responsibility, but you’ll find that when you decide, you divide, and it’s all about stepping up, whilst others step back, so you need that thick skin.”

He also said a “real belief and real conviction in what you’re doing” and “a plan for making that great vision a reality” are needed.

Mr Cameron, who was Conservative prime minister from 2010 to 2016, said: “The most important thing you need to be prime minister is to have a clear plan, a clear idea of what it is you want to achieve because from day one you’ll be hit by problems, by rebellions, by scandals, by problems in Parliament, by the day-to-day dramas of politics.

“You need a plan, you need a clear set of values and principles to judge things against and most of all, you need a strong team.

“If you have those things – a plan, a team, values and you take time to make the big decisions, then you could be a real help for our country.”

The political grandees’ advice to finalists Kelly Given, Holly Morgan and Natalie Balmain will feature in the series’ finale airing on Tuesday at 9.15pm, when one of them will be crowned Channel 4’s Alternative Prime Minister.

The six-part series began with a 12-strong line-up – including viral sensation Jackie Weaver – with the candidates whittled down as they were challenged to prove they had the mettle to lead the country.

Weekly tasks were set and judged by Alastair Campbell, who was Sir Tony’s former press secretary, and Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, former co-chairwoman of the Conservative Party and a member of the House of Lords.