Apollo Magazine

Number 9 dream – Boris and the art of buses

Boris Johnson makes model buses in his spare time, apparently

Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

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Boris Johnson’s enthusiasm for bus travel is unlikely to be news to many readers. Even so, few could have guessed the extent to which the prospective prime minister’s passion for public transport stretches. In an interview with Talk Radio this week, Johnson revealed that he likes to unwind by making ‘models of buses’ – or at least, something of the sort.

‘I don’t mean models of buses,’ he clarified. ‘What I make is, I get old […] wooden crates right, and then I paint them […] basically it’s a box that has been used to contain two wine bottles and it will have a dividing thing, and I turn it into a bus […] I paint the passengers enjoying themselves on the wonderful bus.’

Johnson, of course, has always been a creatively minded sort – and not just in his public pronouncements. Over the years, he has championed all sorts of cultural projects – some markedly less successful than others – and been a keen attender of big exhibitions in London. Indeed, if a revelatory report from the Daily Mail’s John Stevens is to be believed, he enjoyed the British Museum’s ‘I am Ashurbanipal’ show so much that he purchased multiple pairs of socks bearing the Assyrian king’s likeness.

And as Stevens pointed out on Twitter, perhaps there is more to Johnson’s choice of hosiery than meets the eye…

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