Ronnie O’Sullivan has revealed that he is a big fan of London Mayor - and possible future Conservative Party leadership candidate and Prime Minister - Boris Johnson.
The Rocket is seen as snooker’s own maverick, in and out of hot water with the authorities throughout his 21-year career.
Johnson, for his part, insisted recently he would like to move away from solely London duties and return to the House of Commons at next year’s General Election.
And five-time world champion O’Sullivan, 38, who lost this year’s Crucible final to Mark Selby, loves Johnson’s straight talking which he considers a lost art in politics.
However he knows from bitter personal experience what that can cost, having racked up plenty of fines and disciplinary hearings from speaking his own mind.
And many in snooker and beyond will be relieved to hear O’Sullivan also claim that he won’t be threatening to retire again any time soon.
O’Sullivan said: “This country needs a bit of honesty and straightforward talking – a lot of people who are like that don’t seem to go into politics.
“I love Boris, he seems to say the first thing that comes into his head and is a real character – very honest, up front and says it how it is. It is a brilliant trait.
“And it is all about how the people respond to someone, if they are that popular then anything is possible.
“He has got this charm and wit about him, one of those intelligent and charismatic people who has had a good education. It is just good to listen to.
“I don’t have as good an education and get a bit stuck for words sometimes, so can’t execute the way people like Boris do.
“But I do empathise with straight talkers, at the core of me I am quite honest and over the years that has got me into a fair bit of trouble.
“A lot of people are sick of me saying I might retire – so that won’t be coming out of my mouth any more!”
Photograph by Monique Limbos