The U2 singer also has words for Blair, Bush and Bob Dylan…

BONO has declared the last POPE a “comedian” after the late pontiff famously manipulated the singer into giving him his sunglasses.

Talking to The Sunday Times about the world leaders he’s met including George W Bush, Russian President Putin and Tony Blair, the U2 singer recalled how the Catholic Leader Pope John Paul II made him part with his trademark glasses.

“He seemed to be starring at me,” Bono recalled of their meeting. “I wondered was it the fact I was wearing my blue fly-shades? So I took them off in case I was causing some offence.”

However it seems the frail Pope had other ideas. “When I was introduced to him he was still starring at them,” the singer added. “He kept looking at them in my hand so I offered them to him as a gift in return for the rosary he’d just given.”

At this point the U2 man received a lesson in showmanship.

“Not only did he put them on, he smiled the wickedest grin you could ever imagine,” said Bono. “He was a comedian. His sense of humour was completely intact… I thought ‘Wow! The Drop The Debt campaign will have the Pope in my glasses on the front page of every newspaper!’”

The U2 singer added that in his meetings he found George Bush to be “funny and quick-witted” while he described Putin as “an expert… he was meticulously turned out, not a nose hair out of place”, however he reserved his highest praise for his fellow rocks stars.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are extremely polite and well-mannered according to Bono, while he declared [/a] “a very true person”.

“I think underneath all the so-called eccentricity, which I think is just a mask, there’s a very true person,” the U2 man said of [a]. “He’s a good father with a moral compass, who can get lost at sea like everybody, but I think he’s very strong.”