From the day he entered Parliament, David Lammy has been hailed as the man who could become the UK's first black prime minister.
The UK's first black prime minister?
His elevation to the ministerial ranks within two years of being an MP in 2002 only added to the feverish forecast that this is a man destined for the top.
That reshuffle, saw Tony Blair promote mostly low-profile, unflamboyant characters - that could not be said for Mr Lammy.
The new junior health minister has already managed to outshine the prime minister with his jokes and even brought a world-famous soul diva to blow away Westminster's stuffy atmosphere.
The lawyer won Labour's safe seat of Tottenham in the by-election forced by the death of its then MP, Bernie Grant.
Inner city roots
Very much in the New Labour mould, he is a rather different character from the strongly left-wing Mr Grant.
Mr Lammy ran his election campaign on a "local boy, done good" line.
His political beliefs were shaped by his working class upbringing in Tottenham, a community blighted by crime and deprivation.
The son of a single mother, he is still the youngest member of the House of Commons and also has an impressive, if short, legal career behind him.
He was the youngest barrister in the country when he qualified in 1994 and then became the first black Briton to study in Harvard, one of America's top universities.
And his political career was also under way when he became a member of the Greater London Authority in 2000.
Mr Lammy was quick to make his mark in the Commons, having MPs rocking with laughter as he seconded Mr Blair's response to the Queen's Speech in 2002.
He told how in an old school report his teachers described him as a "model pupil, but not a working model".
But he also used that address to promote a more serious message about multi-cultural inclusion, which with African affairs and social justice, ranks as one of his chief concerns.
Soon afterwards, he was put on the first step of the government ladder when he was appointed parliamentary aide to then Education Secretary Estelle Morris.
His strong Christian beliefs may also have been one reason why he was part of a commission which looked at how the Archbishop of Canterbury's role should develop.
In his early years, Mr Lammy's singing voice won him a choral scholarship at the exclusive King's School attached to Peterborough Cathedral after he was heard singing in a gospel choir.
It was a different kind of music he used to make Parliament more "hip" when he invited Grammy-winning soul star Alicia Keys to sing at Westminster before 150 school students.
Mr Lammy denied the idea was just a publicity stunt.
"There has been a lot of coverage recently about apathy and the relevance of politics, and I think it's important that the House of Commons is seen as the house of the people - particularly younger people," he told BBC News Online at the time.
"It's really important in a week of hearing about violence, crack and the under-achievement of black boys to send a signal that some can come out of the inner city and achieve."
Now at the start of what looks a promising career in government, Mr Lammy can demonstrate exactly how far this black boy from the inner city can go.