Francois Hollande will take part in talks with David Cameron and meet the Queen today during his one-day visit to Britain today. Here are a couple of things about the French president that won’t be on today’s agenda.
His partner was involved in a Twitter scandal
Last month, Valerie Trierweiler sent a tweet of “good luck” to Olivier Falorni which caused a political storm. He was fighting for a parliamentary seat in Western La Rochelle against Hollande’s previous partner, Segolene Royal. Falorni defeated her with 63% of the vote. Hollande was said to have been “furious”, as he had been publically supporting his ex-partner. His four children that he has with Royal have been said to have cut ties with Miss Trierweiler since the election.
He was nick-named the “pizza delivery boy”
During his work as secretary of the Socialist Party, Hollande was nick-named the “pizza delivery boy” by one MP, as he used to ride to work on a three-wheeled scooter. He has also been nicknamed “Mr Normal”, referred to as the “nice guy” in French politics, “Mr Marshmallow”, and “Flanby” after a popular caramel pudding.
He lost two stone in a crash diet
Hollande had a make-over prior to running in the 2012 campaign. He bought tailor-made suits, shed pounds and docked designer gear to boost his image before he took part in the presidential elections.
He had a turbulent upbringing with his right-wing father
Born in Rouen, Hollande was brought up as Catholic but rebelled against the strict education. His father ran for local election as a far-right candidate, yet his mother was a Mitterand fan who voted left. When Hollande was 13, his father forced the family to move to the Parisian suburbs, when his father binned the contents of his room, including his prized collection of dinky cars.
He knows how to crack a joke
Some have argued it helped his campaign, distinguishing himself as a normal guy compared to Sarkozy. But the new president couldn’t keep his promise to give up telling jokes, a pledge he made before running for the post. Throughout his campaign Hollande would mock French health and child care in elaborate sketches and poke fun at Sarkozy, who sneeringly dubbed him “Mister Little Jokes”. After winning 94% of the vote in a Socialist primary, he joked: "Even on the darkest days of certain dictatorships they didn't get numbers like that..."