5 things you may not know about Boris Johnson, UK's next PM

FILE - In this Thursday, June 27, 2019 file photo Conservative leadership candidate Boris Johnson gives the thumbs at the Wight Shipyard Company at Venture Quay during a visit to the Isle of Wight, England. (Dominic Lipinski/Pool Photo via AP, File)
FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct., 26, 2010 file photo Boris Johnson, then Mayor of London center, and four of the 49ers cheerleaders Deanna Ortega, left, Morgan McLeod, Alexis Kofoed and Lauren Riccaboni, right, pose for the media as the Mayor holds a team shirt with his name on at City Hall in London. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
FILE - In this Friday, July 30, 2010 file photo, Boris Johnson, then Mayor of London, left, with the Chairman of Britain's Barclays Bank Marcus Agius as they poses for the media as a new cycle hire scheme starts in London. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)
FILE - In this Thursday, June 21, 2018 file photo Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson talks to a British armed forces serviceman based in Orzysz, in northeastern Poland, during a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and following talks on security with his Polish counterpart Jacek Czaputowicz in Warsaw, Poland. Boris Johnson aspires to be a modern-day Winston Churchill. Critics fear he's a British Donald Trump. Johnson won the contest to lead the governing Conservative Party on Tuesday July 23, 2019, and is set to be asked Wednesday by Queen Elizabeth II to become Britain's next prime minister. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski, File)
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson, is shadowed by a Brexit demonstrator, as he arrives at his office in central London, Tuesday July 23, 2019. Britain’s governing Conservative Party is set to reveal the name of the country’s next prime minister later Tuesday, with Brexit champion Boris Johnson widely considered to be favourite to get the job against fellow contender Jeremy Hunt. (Yui Mok/PA via AP)
FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014 file photo London mayor Boris Johnson poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film Testament of Youth, in London. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP, File)
Conservative Party leadership contender Boris Johnson leaves his office in Westminster area of London, Monday July 22, 2019. Voting closes Monday in the ballot to elect Britain's next prime minister, from the two contenders Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson, as critics of likely winner Boris Johnson condemned his vow to take Britain out of the European Union with or without a Brexit deal.(Kirsty O'Connor/PA via AP)
FILE - In this Oct. 15, 2015 file photo, Boris Johnson takes part in a Street Rugby tournament in a Tokyo street. Britain's new top diplomat is shaggy-haired, Latin-spouting Boris Johnson, who in recent months has made insulting and vulgar comments about the presidents of the United States and Turkey. (Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP)

LONDON — Here are five things you may not know about Boris Johnson, who is set to become Britain's next prime minister on Wednesday:

HE HASN'T ALWAYS BEEN SO CONFIDENT

While Johnson is known for his booming voice, boisterous behavior and creative use of language (including Latin and Greek), he was much more subdued as a child. In fact, until the age of eight, Johnson was severely deaf because of glue ear, a condition where the ear canal fills with fluid that can cause temporary hearing loss. Although he now jokes that he exaggerated his condition as a youngster to avoid boring conversations, he did have to wear a grommet, a small tube surgically implanted in the eardrum to drain liquid.

HE'S NOT LIKELY TO EVER TEACH JOURNALISTIC ETHICS

Johnson started his career as a reporter, not a politician, earning more from his writing than from his public service positions. He quickly made a name for himself and quickly got into trouble — being fired from The Times of London for making up a quote to embellish a story. The ethical breakdown slowed his career rise, but he was got back on track and earned a national profile as a caustic, amusing anti-Europe crusading journalist.

Still, he made a few enemies along the way, once offending the entire populace of a major city (that would be Liverpool). He had to apologize in 2004, while serving as both Conservative Party legislator and editor of The Spectator, for accusing Liverpudlians in an unsigned editorial of wallowing in "victim status" after the Hillsborough soccer stadium disaster that claimed 96 lives in 1989.

HE HAS A HISTORY OF SPORTING ACCIDENTS

Johnson is a firm advocate of the health benefits of exercise and is often seen jogging and biking around London. But his true passion is rugby, that very English contact sport where players try to score points by carrying an oval ball over the opponents' goal line. Yet Johnson is known for letting his competitive spirit get the better of him. During his stint as foreign secretary, Johnson inadvertently knocked a 10-year-old boy to the floor in a rugby match during a diplomatic trip to Japan.

That was not the first time he got a little carried away on a sports field. Johnson became a public favorite in 2006 during a re-creation of the 1966 soccer game when England won its only FIFA World Cup title by beating Germany. When it turned out that the Germans weren't following the script and started to win, Boris jumped to the rescue, literally, by launching himself at German soccer player Maurizio Gaudino. Sadly for England, Johnson's moves failed to save the day.

HIS HAIR IS NOT AT ALL LIKE DONALD TRUMP'S

It's true that the U.S. president and Britain's next prime minister both have very prominent blond hair but there the similarity ends. President Donald Trump's hair is very carefully styled before he appears in public, while Johnson's precisely the opposite. From the start of his political career Johnson has sported what could only be called the "slept-on" look, declining to style his locks in any way so they have a natural, spontaneous, even unpredictable quality. It's not a $300 Hollywood concoction by a celebrity stylist, it's an accident-in-progress. The forward plunge of his hair takes something from the "mop top" look of the early Beatles, but the Beatles' locks were always carefully combed.

HE HAS A VERY UNUSUAL WAY OF RELAXING

After a long day on the political stage, you won't find Johnson unwinding in front of the latest reality TV show. Instead, he chooses to make models of buses to relax. He rustles up his creations using old wine boxes, choosing to paint smiling passengers instead of grumpy Londoners. His passion for miniature vehicles is likely linked to nostalgia for his "Boris bus" scheme, when as London mayor, he introduced the double-decker hybrid diesel-electric Routemaster buses that have been since scrapped by his successor.

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Follow AP's full coverage of Brexit at: https://www.apnews.com/Brexit

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