Born in Bushey in 1953, Michael showed an early flair for the small screen when he appeared as a child in a TV ad for Ribena.
Michael Portillo - once the face of blackcurrant cordial
He found more stable work with the Ocean Transport & Trading Company, and joined the Conservative Research Department in 1976. He entered parliament in 1984, winning the Enfield Southgate by-election.
He worked in government as Minister of State for Transport and Chief Secretary to the Treasury, before first becoming Secretary of State for Employment and then Defence.
After losing his seat in 1997, Michael's TV work has been extensive and includes a programme on Spanish wildlife for The Natural World, the Queen Elizabeth episode of Great Britons and When Michael Portillo Became a Single Mum.
Michael returned to parliament in 2001 before standing down in 2005. He is a columnist for the Sunday Times.
And as a pupil at Harrow County Grammar School, Michael once appeared as Macduff to Diane's Lady Macduff.