British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has revealed his childhood love for the French cartoon Asterix with his “magic potion and eating whole wild boar” when he supported football star Marcus Rashford’s literacy campaign.
“Well done, Marcus, on your fantastic initiative,” Johnson said in comments to the Sun newspaper published Wednesday.
“I read everything but I loved Charlie and the chocolate factory, Tintin and especially Asterix – the magic potion and eating whole wild boar and the small Roman skeptical village that held out against the empire.
“It’s amazing that Marcus Rashford shines with the power of books.”
Johnson’s choice of Asterix, about a small Gallic warrior whose village endures the Roman occupation, comes when Britain is locked in talks with the European Union. London’s stubborn opposition to EU pressure is likely to make comparisons with the popular cartoon.
Rashford has already won a huge victory after forcing the government twice to climb down and commit to offering school dinners for children in poorer families during the holidays.
Manchester United and England ahead launched their new campaign to encourage children to read on Tuesday, but have the government in place this time.
“I first started reading at 17, and that changed my vision and mentality,” said the 23-year-old striker.
“I just wish I had the opportunity to really get involved in reading more as a child, but books were never something we could budget for as a family when we needed to put food on the table.”
Rashford has teamed up with publisher Macmillan Children’s Books to launch a series of youth-oriented titles, beginning with “YOU ARE A CHAMPION” in May 2021.
Macmillan said each chapter will summarize a story from Rashford’s own life and will cover topics such as the value of education, understanding of culture and female role models.