Page last updated at 15:26 GMT, Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Voters know me from Gavin and Stacey, says Prescott

Nessa Jenkins, played by Ruth Jones in Gavin and Stacey, and ex-deputy PM John Prescott
Mr Prescott appeared at "old flame" Nessa's wedding to Dave Coaches

Former deputy PM John Prescott says his appearance on hit BBC show Gavin and Stacey did more for his political profile than 40 years of campaigning.

He took part in the TV programme as an old flame of character Nessa.

He said two students in Leeds had assured him they would vote Labour because of the brief cameo.

Mr Prescott also told the BBC he was a fan of TV fashion expert Gok Wan, calling him "fantastic" for his efforts to boost women's body image.

The Hull East MP, who has admitted suffering from the eating disorder bulimia, said he loved Wan's Channel 4 programme How to Look Good Naked, particularly one which featured a disabled woman.

'Great to see'

"I think that was remarkable," he said. "What he was able to get her to do. It's really seeing how those women glow.

"They've got so little confidence in themselves and he just brings them round in a remarkable way. I think it's great to see humans feeling confident about themselves and particularly women about their bodies."

Mr Prescott said he had met Wan at a Downing Street event and introduced himself, adding: "He was a bit shocked that MPs should watch his show."

He also said his appearance in the Gavin and Stacey 2009 Christmas special had done wonders for his profile.

"I was up in Headingly, in Leeds, campaigning and I knocked on a door, and two students came to the door.

"They said: 'Don't worry we're going to vote Labour'. So I said, 'These are our economic policies, our health policies, education, what do you think lads?' And they said, 'No, it's because you were on Gavin and Stacey'.

Gok Wan
Gok Wan's show aims to boost women's self-esteem

"I only had 40 seconds on Gavin and Stacey and I'd never seen the programme before, but I've had more people come up to me, despite my 40 years in politics, and ask me about Gavin and Stacey."

Mr Prescott is also a fan of micro-blogging website Twitter, telling BBC Radio 5 live that the key to good "tweets" was "to be yourself and use humour".

"What's important to me about this is contact with young people. It's no good playing politics, putting leaflets through the door. You've got to use these things... and they listen to you, they engage with you."

But he added: "If you move away from the humour and you get nasty I think it undermines the integrity of the whole thing."

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