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Michael Portillo

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About Michael Portillo

Returning after yet more railway adventures, following his hugely popular Gawsworth debut in 2014, there are few more engaging public speakers than the politician-turned-television documentary maker.

In a Westminster career spanning over 20 years, Michael Portillo first took his seat in Parliament in 1984, and was subsequently Minister for Transport, Employment and Defence.

His memorable career in the House also took in a leadership contest and a dramatic election defeat at Enfield Southgate in 1997 after holding the seat for 13 years. He left the House of Commons in 2005 (after serving as MP for Kensington and Chelsea) and has since re-invented himself as a steam engine-loving all-round good chap.

After the huge success of the BBC’s Great British Railway Journeys, he again picked up his Bradshaw’s guide to tour Europe, before travelling to the US for this year’s Great American Railroad series.