Make Me Prime Minister’s Conall Doyle: Belfast paralegal out to prove he could be next PM in new Channel 4 reality show

Becoming Prime Minister is a role many would think they could do better if given the chance, but not the south Belfast man, Conall Doyle.

In fact, after being poached for a role as one of the contestants on a new Channel 4 program Make Me Prime Minister, Conall has revealed he turned down the show’s advances three times before finally being persuaded to take part in the new series The first episode will air tomorrow night.

Conall, 24, made his name on social media and said he was a little surprised when he was contacted by the Channel 4 team, who believed he would be a perfect fit for the new show.

“I kept turning them down,” he said.

“I didn’t think it was me. But they kept asking and they invited me to London to meet them and I finally thought well I’m getting a free trip, I might as well go and see what they want.

Conall made the trip and was quickly installed as one of 12 candidates to be put through his paces by, among others, political heavyweight Alastair Campbell on the Apprentice-style show.

“They wanted 12 different people with different backgrounds and beliefs and I seemed like the perfect match for them.

“I expected to go to the meeting and say thank you, but no thanks, but they sold the idea in a very different way than I expected. It wasn’t a partisan thing, it was problem solving, tackling the big problems of the day, and that was beginning to irk me.

“I’ve never been one to make political views public, but once I knew what was expected I thought why not, let’s try.”

Thus began Conall, a former St Patrick’s, Knock student who is currently working as a paralegal in Belfast, into the most intense weeks of his life, which has included being without his mobile phone.

“You always think people are joking when they say you’re isolating when you’re on these shows, but you really are. It’s really, really intense. We were allowed to talk on the phone for 15 minutes every day and everything was monitored,” he said.

Conall said those who know him will be surprised by the thick skin he displays on the show.

“In Northern Ireland you are almost born into a political world, but Westminster is a very different ballgame. You really need that thick skin!

“They had brought such different people together that clashes were inevitable and viewers will see that. I disagreed with one of the candidates, Jackie Weaver (who made headlines when a dispute at a 2021 council meeting went viral), although we made amends in the end, and Alastair Campbell is an impressive man to deal with.

“I think it will be nice to look back on the experience and tell people that you were once poached as a potential prime minister.

“And Alastair sent me a lovely handwritten letter after filming wrapped, which I will always keep.”

He added, “One thing I’ve learned is that image matters” — and that’s coming from a man who discovered his love for Ralph Lauren clothes through his TikTok account. Make Me Prime Minister’s Conall Doyle: Belfast paralegal out to prove he could be next PM in new Channel 4 reality show

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