One Show: Theresa and Philip May talk bins and love

By Susan Hulme
BBC parliamentary correspondent

Media caption,
Philip May: "I take the bins out"

Politicians always want to "connect" with hard-to-reach voters.

So Theresa May took to the One Show sofa to catch the tea-time TV audience alongside her husband Philip.

She looked apprehensive, but she needn't have worried.

Mr May was as careful to avoid gaffes as Mrs May always is.

He spent most of the interview turned towards her, nodding vigorously, and murmuring "mmh" in loyal agreement.

It's the same at home, he claims.

Asked whether she was a tough negotiator, he said: "Well, there's give and take in every marriage.

"I get to decide when I take the bins out. Not if I take them out."

His wife jumped in. "There's boy jobs and girls jobs, you see," she clarifies.

"I definitely do the bins," Mr May confirmed, before adding: "I do the traditional boy jobs, by and large."

'Disappointed' mother-in-law

Apart, of course, from what's traditionally been a "boy job" - being prime minister.

He revealed that his wife had first harboured an interest in being PM when she was in the Shadow Cabinet, which she joined in 1999.

Media caption,
Political partners - a potted history

Although he'd spoken at the Conservative Party conference in his youth, it was Theresa who first embarked on the political career, while he worked in finance.

Mrs May revealed one difficult moment for the couple, who don't have children, when she was looking for a constituency - and a newspaper predicted she'd have trouble being selected as a Conservative candidate because of her new baby.

She said her mother-in-law had rung up hoping there was happy news.

"So she was disappointed," said Mrs May.

There were questions about the walking holidays, her childhood at the vicarage, and meeting for the first time.

They were introduced at an Oxford University student disco by a mutual friend, Benazir Bhutto, the future prime minister of Pakistan.

On first impressions: "I thought 'what a lovely girl' - it was love at first sight," according to Philip.

"Likewise," Theresa reassured him.

'I quite like ties'

But there were few genuine revelations about the couple's private side.

Mrs May certainly looked rather relieved whenever the conversation veered towards politics.

Asked about the downside to being married to the prime minister, Mr May insisted it was a privilege, and would go no further than saying: "If you're the kind of man who expects his tea to be on the table at six o'clock every evening, you could be a disappointed man."

But he added gallantly that she was a very good cook.

And then, of course, there was a question about her love of fashion, and in particular shoes - with a close-up of her black loafers with diamante-studded heels.

Mrs May confirmed that she did, indeed, like buying shoes. But she promised there was a serious side to it - and recounted meeting a young woman in the lift in the House of Commons.

After admiring each other's shoes, the woman revealed that it was Mrs May's interest in shoes that had turned her on to politics. A future prime minister in the making, surely.

But fashion isn't just for women.

"And what's your shoe-equivalent?" Mr May was asked.

Looking hunted, he replied... "I quite like ties."

The One Show has invited Jeremy Corbyn onto the show too, as well as other leaders - though he hasn't yet said if he'll bring his wife along.