AS Boris Johnson settles into Ten Downing Street, voters are wondering what this charismatic and mercurial politician will be like as Prime Minister. Our political correspondent Bill Jacobs worked with him as a journalistic colleague, covered him as an MP for the Oxford Mail and was one of his constituents when he represented Henley for the Conservatives.

The first time I saw Boris, he was perched precariously on the back of chair in the press room at a European Summit, waving his arms and telling us all what a waste of time and money the whole thing was.

Even then he was a larger-than-life character who dominated the room and a sceptic about the EU.

When he became MP for Henley, he quickly settled in to the cut and thrust of the House of Commons and made sure he had bases and watering holes across the constituency.

One such was the Shepherd's Hut pub in the historic village of Ewelme where I lived.

He would hold court in the bar pint in hand, often flanked by his father Stanley, and chat to regulars and visitors alike.

His ability to get on with everyone, regardless of whether the were Conservatives or not, was clearly evident.

When the village primary school wanted to come to Westminster, he organised a tour and then met them in person to tell them about Parliamentary life.

One very Labour journalist colleague of mine raced to sit at the back of the class saying: "Any speech by Boris, even to children, is worth listening to."

Boris did not disappoint - charming and entertaining pupils, teachers, parents and stray spectators alike.

As an ex-journalist and still a controversial Daily Telegraph columnist, he was always good for a story for the Oxford Mail or a quote to get one over the line and into the paper.

Indeed, he was frequently handy for the colourful phrase I needed to enliven a story for the Bolton News or the other papers I covered for in the Parliamentary Press Gallery.

I remember once crossing the road opposite Parliament with him when he asked how much I was paid for my full page column in the Oxford Mail.

When I revealed the paltry sum, he nearly had a seizure, almost falling in front of a car, caught between shock and laughter!

Boris has been a regular visitor to Lancashire but it was when he visited Blackburn in 2014 that his personal magic was most evident.

He settled into the sofa in the front office of our sister publication the Lancashire Telegraph with a copy of the paper as if he worked there, while the women from advertising gatecrashed my interview with him just to say 'Hello'.

When we went to a litter pick and clean-up in Lower Darwen he was mobbed by people wanting to get close to him, a scene repeated at DHJ Weisters tie factory.

For a man educated at Eton and Oxford, where he was a member of the exclusive Bullingdon Dining Club, Boris has the common touch like few others - even more so than Margaret Thatcher.

The only thing he has in common with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is being one of the few politicians everyone wants to meet, talk to and even touch.

He will be the most theatrical Prime Minister since fellow Tory Harold Macmillan, known as 'Supermac', but the question today is whether he is up to the detail and rigours of his new job.

Despite his clowning, when you are in the presence of Boris you are aware of a keen brain behind the buffoonery - you don't get a good Classics degree from Balliol College (an academy for future Prime Ministers) without one.

His supporters civil servants in Number Ten hope his intellect will come to the fore while his charisma and common touch remain.

Boris without the bounce would be a sad disappointment. Boris without the brain could be a disaster.

It looks like our new Prime Minister and the country are in for a bumpy ride but it should certainly be an entertaining journey.