BBC accused of poor taste by filming Tony Blair obituary – even though the former PM is just 58 years old
No reports of him being in bad health
Had a minor heart scare in office but keeps himself in good shape
By Damien Gayle
Last updated at 2:28 PM on 27th December 2011
The BBC have started filming interviews for Tony Blair’s obituary, it emerged today – even though the former prime minister is just 58 years old.
Leading Labour figures were said to be shocked to be approached by BBC producers putting together the tributes to Mr Blair.
There are no reports that the former PM is in bad health. Indeed, he was the youngest prime minister in nearly 200 years when he entered No. 10 in 1997 at the age of 43.
1983 Becomes MP for Sedgefield
July 1994 Blair is elected Leader of the Labour Party following the sudden death of his predecessor John Smith. Under his leadership, the party adopted the ‘New Labour’ strategy
May 1997 He Labour to a landslide victory in the general election, and becomes. at 43 years old, the youngest Prime Minister since Lord Liverpool in 1812.
1998 Plays a major part in the Good Friday Agreement.
October 2001 Sends UK troops in Afghanistan in support of George W Bush’s reign on terror
2003 Gives further backing to Bush’s foreign policy by sending troops into Iraq.
May 2005 Blair wins a third consecutive election and becomes, the only person to have led the Labour Party to three consecutive general election victories
June 2007 He is succeeded as Labour leader and as Prime Minister by Gordon Brown. On the day he resigned as Prime Minister, he was appointed the official Envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East.
May 2008 Blair launches his Tony Blair Faith Foundation.
‘He is still a relatively young man who I’m sure has got a lot of years left in him yet.’
Mr Blair, who was prime minister for 10 years, had a relatively minor heart scare in office, but is known to keep himself in good shape.
He and his wife, Cherie, had three children when he entered office. She gave birth to another son, Leo, in 2000 – the first baby born to a serving PM in more than 150 years.
Since leaving office he has made a multimillion pound fortune out of corporate consultancy and on the international speaking circuit.
He has also taken up a role as official Middle East envoy of the Quartet and, in 2008, launched his Tony Blair Faith Foundation.
Any tribute to the former prime minister is sure to focus on the three wars he involved the country in – in the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq.
The latter war, which started in 2003, was apparently promoted to the public on dubious grounds – with the now-notorious ‘dodgy dossier’ – and the bloodshed caused his popularity to plummet.
Mr Blair stood down in June 2007, on the eve of the financial crisis that sparked the credit crunch and ensuing global recession, in favour of his Chancellor, Gordon Brown.
A BBC spokesman told the Sun: ‘We don’t comment on obituaries.’