I first met whatshisname, aka Boris Johnson, when I spoke at the Oxford Union as Daily Telegraph editor while he was its president. I remember feeling cross, that the evening seemed a benefit match for the presidential ego. No, let us be frank: I realised that this callow white lump in formal evening dress was a lot better at playing an audience than I was. A while later, Boris joined the Telegraph. Following a spell as a leader writer, he became our EU correspondent. Over the next few years, he developed the persona which has become famous today, a façade resembling that of PG Wodehouse's Gussie Finknottle, allied to wit, charm, brilliance and startling flashes of instability.
30 March 2008 – Max Hastings, Johnson's editor at the Daily Telegraph, former editor at the London Evening Standard, and historian