Ed Balls is no stranger to being on television. He was on it regularly during his political career, caught the nation’s eye from a different perspective when he competed in Strictly Come Dancing and now he is back with a new series on BBC2. Travels in Euroland with Ed Balls, the first episode of which aired on Thursday night, is a documentary about right-wing voters and an investigation into why the far right is growing in popularity. Balls is no fool. He studied philosophy, politics and economics at Keble College, Oxford before he joined the Financial Times as the lead economic writer. He then went on to become an adviser to Shadow Chancellor Gordon Brown - who did everything possible to stop Tony Blair from ditching the Pound and adopting the Euro, so he has an insight into why all things Euro are perhaps not that rosy.
Ball’s has always come across as a chatty chap, even when he was a politician, like him or not, and his approach to the documentary is very personal. In a way he’s on a European road trip stopping for chats with far right supports and what he found out during episode one in Holland and Almeria, Spain, is that the far right movement is not anti immigration led.
He discovered that it is more about countries wanting to protect their long standing cultures and being proud of who they are and their country - a message governments should wake up to.