In an interview with Piers Morgan broadcast on ITV1 last Sunday, British prime minister Gordon Brown spoke openly about the death of his daughter Jennifer, his son Fraser who suffers from cystic fibrosis, and the leadership deal that was struck with Tony Blair. More than four million Britons watched the show.
With his wife Sarah in the audience close to tears, the otherwise so reserved Prime Minister had difficulty hiding his emotions while talking about his daughter who died just ten days after childbirth.
Ahead of the program, Sarah Brown engaged with women on the popular website Mumsnet where she chatted candidly about her husband and their relationship. Brown, she noted, “is surprisingly romantic.” She also discussed Jennifer’s death, favorite television programs of hers, and the importance of family Sunday lunches.
Brown’s and his wife’s charm offensive are part of a Labour strategy meant to soften the Prime Minister’s image ahead of this year’s general election. He is generally perceived as cold, grumpy and boring; not exactly the sort of qualities that a socialist politician is likely to benefit from.
Asked whether the interview was indeed aimed at boosting his popularity in the polls, Brown told BBC News: “I do think people have a right to know who you are, where you come from, what you are trying to achieve.”
Reportedly the Conservative Party is in talks with ITV to secure a similar high-profile interview for David Cameron, although he will probably not sit down with Piers Morgan.