John Prescott to present Have I Got News For You

Former Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, is, for the first time, to guest host Have I Got News For You for the last show in the current series, to be shown on BBC One on Thursday 3 June 2010.

He comments: “After working with Brown and Blair for more than 13 years, Hislop and Merton should be a doddle. I promise it will be a belter. And the show should be pretty good too.”

A former seaman and union activist, John was Member of Parliament for Hull East from 1970 to 2010 and Labour’s Deputy Leader from 1994 to 2007.

The son of a railway signalman and Labour councillor and grandson of a miner, he left Wales at the age of four and was initially brought up in South Yorkshire.

He became a steward and waiter in the Merchant Navy and was a popular left-wing union activist. After his marriage to Pauline in 1961 he went on to study at Ruskin College in Oxford.

Prescott held various posts in Labour’s Shadow Cabinet but his career was secured by an impassioned closing speech in the debate at the Labour Party Conference in 1993 on the introduction of “one member, one vote” for the selection and re-selection of Labour Parliamentary candidates which helped swing the vote.

With the election of a Labour Government in 1997, Prescott was made Deputy Prime Minister and given a very large portfolio as the head of the newly created Department for Environment, Transport and Regions.

Prescott stood down as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party thirteen years after his appointment, to coincide with the resignation of Tony Blair.

More recently, he stood down as MP for his constituency at this year’s general election but is now standing to be the next Labour Party treasurer.

No stranger to television appearances, John has appeared with his wife in two documentaries Prescott on Class and Prescott: North and South as well as a cameo in the final episode of Gavin and Stacey.