Michael Portillo | Biography

Quick Wiki

  • Full Name Michael Denzil Xavier Portillo
  • Nickname Michael Portillo
  • Occupation Television Host & Former Politician
  • Nationality Spanish-British
  • Birthplace England, UK
  • Birth Date May 26, 1953
  • Age 71 Years, 0 Months
Former Politician and Host of Documentary Series 'Railway Journey'

Michael Portillo | Biography

Conservative Party Member, UK Parliament From 1980 To Early 2000s

Portillo has also presented seven other shows with a similar format: 'Great Continental Railway Journeys' (2012–2020), 'Great American Railroad Journeys' (2016–2018), 'Great Indian Railway Journeys' (2018), 'Great Alaskan Railroad Journeys' and 'Great Canadian Railway Journeys' (2019), 'Great Australian Railway Journeys' (2019), and 'Great Asian Railway Journeys' (2020). Furthermore, he has regularly appeared on the BBC's 'This Week' political discussion show and BBC Radio 4's 'The Moral Maze' ethical debate show.

Michael Denzil Xavier Portillo is a screenwriter who is mostly known for his broadcast series of railway documentaries like Great British Railway Journeys (2010) and Great Continental Railway Journeys (2012–2020).

Who is Michael Portillo?

Michael Denzil Xavier Portillo is a British journalist, politician, broadcaster, and screenwriter, who joined the Conservative Research Department in 1976 and stayed there for three years. He was also in charge of briefing Margaret Thatcher during the 1979 General Election. For the following two years, Portillo served as a special adviser to the Secretary of State for Energy.

From 1981 to 1983, he worked for Kerr McGee Oil (UK) Ltd. In the 1983 election, he also ran for the Birmingham Perry Bar seat. Portillo had a successful political career as a Conservative Party Member of Parliament in the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s. After the 2005 general election, he resigned from the House of Commons. Portillo joined the multinational defense contractor BAE Systems as a non-executive director in September 2002 and resigned from that position in March 2006. 

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Age and Early Bio

Michael Denzil Xavier Portillo was born on 26 May 1953 in England.

He attended Stanburn Primary School in Stanmore, Greater London, and Harrow County School for Boys, before receiving a scholarship to Peterhouse, Cambridge, to study history. 

While at school, Portillo was a supporter of the Labour Party; he credits his conversion to conservatism at Cambridge to the right-wing Peterhouse historian Maurice Cowling's influence. Portillo gave an interview in 1999 in which he talked about his gay experiences while at university.

Family & Brothers

Portillo was born to Luis Gabriel Portillo, an exiled Spanish Republican and Scottish mother, Cora Waldegrave. However, there is no information about his brothers. He grew up in Hertfordshire but also had a Spanish passport, on which his name has been changed to Miguel Portillo y Blyth to comply with Spanish naming conventions. 

'Railway Journey' 

Portillo has followed his media interests since leaving politics, hosting and taking part in a variety of television and radio shows.

Great British Railway Journeys is a documentary series hosted by Portillo. The show first aired in 2010. The series follows Portillo as he travels through the railway networks of the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the Isle of Man. Furthermore, at to latest, he was spotted documenting the 14th series of the show at Arnside Station in September 2021.

Portillo has also presented seven other shows with a similar format: Great Continental Railway Journeys (2012–2020), Great American Railroad Journeys (2016–2018), Great Indian Railway Journeys (2018), Great Alaskan Railroad Journeys and Great Canadian Railway Journeys (2019), Great Australian Railway Journeys (2019), and Great Asian Railway Journeys (2020). Furthermore, he has regularly appeared on the BBC's This Week political discussion show and BBC Radio 4's The Moral Maze ethical debate show.

Michael Portillo Shooting for 'Railway Journey' in 2016
Michael Portillo Shooting for 'Railway Journey' in 2016 (Photo: Twitter)

In his new TV series, Great Coastal Railway Journeys premiered on 24 January 2022, he travels through the coasts of Scotland, Wales, and England. The travel documentary has 20 episodes. “Much of the British Isles’ coastlines are pristine by comparison with Britain’s towns, villages and cities, which are awfully cluttered by traffic, parked vehicles, and signage,” Portillo said in a January 2022 interview with i.news.co.uk.

Is Michael Portillo still Married to Carolyn Eadie?

Portillo has been married to his partner Carolyn Eadie since 1982 and currently lives together in Britain. The couple initially met when they were at school. After two years of their marriage, Eadie had cancer, which resulted in the couple not being able to carry any children.

In an interview with Journey Beyond, he disclosed that they own a home near Seville in Spain and reportedly spend most of their time there. He added that they frequently travel north of the border as Eadie has close relatives in Scotland. Furthermore, the Daily Mail UK also mentioned that Portillo allegedly had extramarital affairs during his marriage with Eadie. The article further added that in 1999, Portillo admitted that he had homosexual experiences as a young man and that his wife has been supporting him ever since. 

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