Come into my world
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s awkward moment at the ARIA Awards 2011 was captured for posterity. She presented Kylie Minogue with a Hall of Fame award, then stood holding the trophy as Kylie made her acceptance speech: “Thank you, prime minister… now you’re just minding my trophy.”
As Total Politics aficionados will be aware, there are fewer images of Boris looking serious than looking awkward. When the film-star governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, visited London last year to discuss low-carbon technologies, the two looked excited to be cycling around City Hall.
A close-run thing
David Cameron ditched his usual suits in favour of a more ‘athletic’ look, to race children for the Sports Relief mile. Cameron’s pasty-white legs outshone the competition from the kids, however.
Bienvenue à la France
During a visit to La Pointe de Dinan, France’s surf capital on its north-west coastline, French president Nicholas Sarkozy was caught in awkward pose at an impromptu photo call. Que ce passe-t-il? Nonplussed? Moi?
Looking uncharacteristically ebullient, German chancellor Angela Merkel was snapped in 2010 outside the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey. Though this picture fails to convey it, her trip was to discuss Turkey’s beleaguered EU bid, and not for pleasure.
The campaign trail is a great way to get out of the office – insulting old women really makes you stand out. This picture of Gordon leaving Gillian Duffy’s Rochdale house, after apologising for his impropriety, symbolised and helped precipitate his departure two weeks later from a very different address.
The MPs vs journalists annual football match is always popular. Ed Balls is caught out here after a break, practising the manoeuvre known as the Full Torso Strip, stretching out in the sun and showing off his physique...
Watch this drive
George W Bush and Hamid Karzai like cruising. On a 2007 state visit to Camp David, the Afghan premier and former US president met to discuss where the country was heading. Let’s hope tussles over who should be in the driving seat remained on the golf course.
Sleigh bells ring
Every year, the US president turns on the lights at the National Christmas Tree in Washington DC. One highlight of the event in December 2011 was the carol-singing, which featured Barack Obama and Father Christmas performing a duet of Winter Wonderland, while Michelle Obama sang with Kermit the Frog.
Out in the sticks
When he was first president (before being prime minister and re-elected president), Vladimir Putin regularly visited Russia’s far-flung provinces. In 2007, with an approval rating of 70 per cent, he was caught shirtless and gun-toting in the Republic of Tuva. Not many politicians would survive such immodesty.