UK

Andrew Marr: Angela Merkel Could Not Be Elected In Britain Because Of Her Looks

17/09/2013 12:50 BST | Updated 17/09/2013 13:32 BST
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Angela Merkel, Germany's chancellor and party leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), gestures during an election rally in Potsdam, Germany, on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013. Delayed plans for a financial transaction tax in 11 European states would get a fresh push if Chancellor Angela Merkel enters a coalition with the Social Democrats after Sept. 22 German elections, top SPD members said. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Angela Merkel could never be elected in Britain - because her appearance would put voters off, Andrew Marr has said.

The broadcaster said he admired the way the German Chancellor did not care about her looks.

Marr, who is fronting a BBC documentary about Merkel, told the Radio Times: "I really like that she doesn't care about her image.

"When she met Tony Blair she told him, 'I've got no charisma and no leadership qualities, by the way.'

"We could never elect someone like this in our country - I mean look at how Theresa May has struggled in our system, even she was attacked for being dour and not sexy enough!"

Marr, 54, also said he had been forced to smile less because of his stroke, after recently returning on-screen to present The Andrew Marr Show.

He said that it would be two years before he had recovered.

The presenter, who walks with a stick and has a brace on his ankle which he operates with a remote-control device when he stands and walks, told the Radio Times that he had been "self-conscious" about his comeback.

"I normally use my body a lot when I'm talking. I wave my arms about. But I can only wave one arm around, so I'd fall over if I did it too much, and also my face is slightly less mobile, so I'm less inclined to smile and sort of make strange facial gestures as I work. I'm conscious about that as well," he said.

Asked whether he had changed following the stroke, he said: "You suck up experiences more intensely and you live the day more.

"And you're much more aware of all the people all around us who have got really, really difficult disabilities who are looking after their parents, perhaps, and who frankly most of the time, like most people, I simply didn't see. I wasn't thinking about them.

"That has changed. I do see them now, I do think about it."

He told the magazine that a common cold nearly delayed his return to air following the stroke in January.

"All week I had been sneezing and coughing, and I thought I'm not sure I can go through this show without blowing my nose and sneezing. That was actually what I was worrying about, not the stroke," he said.