Tony Blair puts on bizarre Italian accent for anecdote about life in the EU

Rachel Roberts

Tony Blair showed his lighter side when he tried to put on a thick Italian accent to impersonate a former Italian Prime Minister in an anecdote about the European Union.

Appearing on the programme Unspun with Matt Forde, Mr Blair spoke about when the UK held the Presidency of the EU in the early days of his premiership in 1998.

Mr Blair began the yarn in his usual accent: “Someone had the right idea, somewhere in the system, that we'd actually ask a group of school kids, from a school in the East End of London, to design a tie with the representation for each country that they thought of when they thought of the country.

”So anyway, the first I know about this... I get a call from the Italian Prime Minister.”

Mr Blair then put on the accent: “Eh, Tony. Non, non, non possible. This is the nation of Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Verdi, Firenze, Roma, Venezia, and here we are on your tie: quattro stagioni pizza!“.

As the audience applauded, the former Prime Minister dropped back to his own accent and said: “Apologies for the Italian accent. I’ve put down – I’ve apologised obviously and I’ve grovelled and said we would flog whoever did it, and so on.

“And I put down the phone and a member of staff who was in the room said, ‘Prime Minister, you’ve gone white.

“And I said, ‘Find out what the hell these kids have done with the representation for the Germans!’ ”

Mr Blair told the audience of Unspun, made for the Dave channel, he was glad there was no social media during his youth when he spoke about the time he spent playing in a band.

”Let this be a warning for any young person who wants a political career.

“Today with social media, just be careful.

”When I was in the band, if we'd had social media at that time, I certainly would not have been Prime Minister“.

He also said that if he was Prime Minister now, he would cultivate a “close” relationship with US President Donald Trump.

“People always want me to criticise Theresa May over this, but the British Prime Minister should always get on well with the President of the United States if it’s possible… it’s got it’s challenges, obviously.”

Although frequently criticised during his premiership for his use of spin doctors, Mr Blair’s relaxed performance on Unspun was well received by many on social media.

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