Delegates to the Conservative Party’s annual conference in Manchester lapped up Boris Johnson’s wisecrack-filled speech on Wednesday, 2 October, but one Australian-born celebrity got the shock of his life when he found himself going viral as a result.
In his first conference speech as leader, Mr Johnson waxed lyrical about Britain’s export potential in a post-Brexit world: ”We already have some astonishing exports. Just in the last few months I have seen an Isle of Wight ship-builder that exports vast leisure catamarans to Mexico.”
He then said: “We export Jason Donovan CDs to North Korea. We exported Nigel Farage to America – though he seems to have come back.”
So now we know the reason for the Kim Jong Un - Trump love fest. Jason Donovan CDs that the UK is exporting to NK according to Boris. 🤷♂️— grs 🏴 (@0xGRS) October 2, 2019
🎵 "Especailly for you..." 🎵
Now we know what the UK are threatening to withhold from North Korea for breaking UN resolutions, and honestly, I think it's got Kim running scared.— Alex Tiffin (@RespectIsVital) October 2, 2019
Jason Donovan CD's are all they have. They just wouldn't risk it. pic.twitter.com/otEGHB1ljp
Boris Johnson: "We export Jason Donovan CDs to North Korea."— Davey Six-Toes (@HutchinsonDave) October 2, 2019
I guess that solves the mystery of what they keep firing into the Sea of Japan
The Farage gag got plenty of chuckles among the Tory faithful but it was the allusion to Donovan which created a social media storm, with dozens of memes and jokes.
Awoke from nap in a sweat. Dreamt Prime Minister told us we could export Jason Donovan cds to North Korea. Then lovely Jason put out a fire in his undercrackers. Then Liz Truss said we’ll be ok top-trading withUS cos they love Downton Abbey. Then Esther McVey invented the toaster— Ian Shaw (@ianshawjazz) October 2, 2019
I was willing to give North Korea a chance, and not believe all the negative Western propaganda. But if they really do buy Jason Donovan albums then they are a dystopian hellscape far worse than their most bitter enemy could ever have imagined. I hereby revoke my defences of NK.— cyclerunner (@cyclerunner) October 3, 2019
Donovan, 51, first found fame in the 1980s as the boyish star of Australian soap opera Neighbours along with his on-screen girlfriend Kylie Minogue.
The pair both moved to England and became pop stars, although Minogue’s success massively outweighed that of Donovan, who suit The Face magazine in 1992 after they wrongly suggested he was a homosexual. He won £200,000 in damages.
Luckily, I had a £10 double on 'The PM triumphing Jason Donovan CD sales to North Korea' and 'Jason Donovan puts out neighbours fire dressed only in his underpants' both appearing in the news cycle at the same time.— Ian Walker (@fenlandgent) October 2, 2019
Donovan, who later battled drug addiction, bounced back in 2006 by appearing on a UK reality TV show and has continued to pump out music, much to the bemusement of critics and indeed the public.
...so glad we are going through all this so that Jason Donovan can sell more CDs to North Korea …… now need nine more good reasons to continue with Brexit— Ian Larmer (@Mister_Llama) October 3, 2019
But it turns out he is big in North Korea, according to the Prime Minister.