CONTROVERSIAL, colourful and chaotic, Boris Johnson will be a prime minister unlike any other to enter Downing Street in recent times.

The 20th Old Etonian to hold the office of Prime Minister, he believes he can give the UK back its "mojo" through an optimistic attitude and a "do or die" commitment to Brexit.

After his landslide victory in the Tory leadership contest, Mr Johnson, who describes himself as a One Nation Conservative, is now just hours away from entering No 10 despite a string of gaffes and scandals that would have ended the careers of lesser politicians.

Instead the seemingly Teflon-coated 55-year-old has been able to survive and prosper despite - or possibly due to - his capacity for attracting attention.

The “red wine row” with girlfriend Carrie Symonds that saw police called to their home in the early stages of the leadership race was a glimpse into the complicated private life about which the twice-married Mr Johnson tries desperately to avoid answering questions. His Wikipedia entry suggests he has “five or six” children.

But it was his public actions - whether penning provocative columns or his record in the Foreign Office - which led to most scrutiny as Tory Party members decided on the next prime minister.

He has been repeatedly criticised for using racially charged or offensive language, including describing the Queen being greeted in Commonwealth countries by "flag-waving piccaninnies" and then-prime minister Tony Blair being met by "tribal warriors" with "watermelon smiles" while on a trip to the Congo.

Mr Johnson portrays himself as the staunch Unionist but, according to colleagues, was barred from taking part in the 2014 independence referendum because he was regarded as a “liability” to the No ground campaign.

He has apologised for remarks in which he likened being a Scottish MP as to having a “political disability” and said “government by a Scot is just not conceivable”.

In his infamous 2018 Daily Telegraph column he described veiled Muslim women as looking like “bank robbers and letter boxes”.

A penitent PM-elect apologised for any offence some of his journalistic remarks might have caused but insisted during the leadership campaign politicians had to speak their minds even if "occasionally some plaster comes off the ceiling".

The London MP has also faced repeated questions about his blunder as Foreign Secretary in the case of jailed British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who he mistakenly said had been training journalists; comments seized upon by the authorities in Tehran.

More recently, after his public lack of support for Sir Kim Darroch, Britain’s ambassador to the US, he was accused of throwing the diplomat “under a bus”.

The New York-born Oxford graduate is the eldest of four children. He began his journalistic career at The Times but was sacked for falsifying a quote. He later became Brussels correspondent at The Daily Telegraph and moved to become editor of the right-wing Spectator magazine.

Elected MP for Henley in 2001, seven years later he was chosen as the Tories’ candidate for London Mayor, defeating the Labour incumbent Ken Livingston. In his second term, he was involved in bringing the 2012 Olympics to the UK capital.

In 2015, Mr Johnson returned to Parliament as the MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip in London, stepping down as Mayor the following year.

He became a leading light on the Leave side during the 2016 EU referendum campaign and controversially argued the UK would regain control of £350 million a week after Brexit, suggesting it could go to the National Health Service; a slogan emblazoned on a campaign bus.

The senior Conservative has never hidden his ambition to be Prime Minister.

In 2013, he famously noted: "If the ball came loose from the back of the scrum, which it won't of course, it would be a great, great thing to have a crack at."

Three years later, when David Cameron resigned following the Brexit vote, his fellow Bullingdon Club veteran threw his hat in the ring but dramatically withdrew it when his co-Leave campaign chief, Michael Gove, insisted Mr Johnson was unfit to be PM.

The victorious Theresa May made him Foreign Secretary and during his two years in office he condemned the persecution of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, supported the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen and failed to condemn the actions of the Spanish Government and police during the 2017 outlawed Catalonia's independence referendum.

In 2018, he resigned in protest at Mrs May's approach to Brexit, criticising the Chequers Agreement and urging her to “chuck Chequers”.

Although he has had his sights set on No 10 throughout his political career, as a child he held even loftier ambitions. According to his sister Rachel, the young Boris’s goal was to be "world king".

Downing St, for now, will have to suffice.