Boris Johnson, Britain's incoming prime minister, had once said his chances of becoming the country's leader were "about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars, or my being reincarnated as an olive."

Though there have been no Elvis sightings on Mars - and it is too early to tell which shape Johnson will take in another life - the mop-haired politician was indeed voted into power Tuesday.

As prime minister, Johnson will inherit the challenge of successfully carrying out Britain's divorce from the European Union and managing the aftermath of Brexit once it is achieved. In addition, he takes over leadership of the United Kingdom amid rising tensions with Iran. How he'll handle much of this remains unclear. While the world doesn't know what sort of prime minister Johnson will be, if the past is any indication, it is assured he'll bring an unusual flair to 10 Downing Street.

Here are some of the more memorable quotes and moments from Johnson's political career.

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On international affairs

As foreign secretary, Johnson, not known for his restraint or tact, often veered sharply from diplomatic norms.

In 2017, on a state visit to former British colony Myanmar, Johnson was filmed reciting the colonial-era Rudyard Kipling poem "Mandalay" at one of the country's most sacred Buddhist sites. Then British ambassador to Myanmar, Andrew Patrick, was so mortified by the act that he told Johnson to stop. "Not a good idea," Patrick said.

Two months before becoming foreign secretary, Johnson was named the winner of the Spectator's "most offensive Erdogan poem" competition, referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The limerick Johnson wrote describes Erdogan engaged in a sex act with a goat.

He also once referred to the continent of Africa as "that country" in 2016.

It was not the first time Johnson had faced criticism over alleged racial insensitivity.

Boris Johnson, then Mayor of London, left, with the Chairman of Britain's Barclays Bank Marcus Agius as they poses for the media as a new cycle hire scheme starts in London. Photo / AP
Boris Johnson, then Mayor of London, left, with the Chairman of Britain's Barclays Bank Marcus Agius as they poses for the media as a new cycle hire scheme starts in London. Photo / AP

When running for mayor of London in 2008, Johnson came under fire for calling black children "piccaninnies" in a 2002 newspaper column. Alluding to the outrage surrounding Johnson's use of an antiquated and offensive racial description, talk show host Nihal Arthanayake asked Johnson during a mayoral debate, "Are you down with the ethnics?"

"I'm down with the ethnics. You can't out-ethnic me, Nihal," he said. "My children are a quarter Indian, so put that in your pipe and smoke it."

On Europe

As an enthusiastic pro-Brexiteer, Johnson made his feelings known on belonging to the European Union, at times using food metaphors to convey his distaste. In 2013, speaking as mayor of London, Johnson said Britain wasn't getting anything from belonging to the bloc.

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"First they make us pay in our taxes for Greek olive groves, many of which probably don't exist. Then they say we can't dip our bread in olive oil in restaurants," he said. "We didn't join the Common Market - betraying the New Zealanders and their butter - in order to be told when, where and how we must eat the olive oil we have been forced to subsidize."

Madame Tussauds London mark Boris Johnson's victory in the London mayoral election by giving him a post-party makeover. Photo / AP
Madame Tussauds London mark Boris Johnson's victory in the London mayoral election by giving him a post-party makeover. Photo / AP

He reiterated this sentiment one year later when asked which animal the E.U. would be.

"The E.U. would be a lobster," Johnson said ". . . because the E.U., by the very way it works, encourages its participating members to order the lobster at the joint meal because they know that the bill is going to be settled by everybody else - normally by the Germans."

On women

Johnson has also courted controversy with remarks about women that many regarded as sexist. While promoting his political party, the Tories, Johnson appeared to be targeting a specific demographic.

"Voting Tory will cause your wife to have bigger breasts and increase your chances of owning a BMW M3," he said in 2005, according to the Independent.

In 2013, when Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Johnson appeared on a panel together, Razak noted that 68 percent of Malaysia's university students were women.

"They've got to find men to marry," Johnson quipped.

And in 2018, Johnson penned a column in defense of Denmark's polarising burqa ban that described women in the garments as resembling "letter boxes" or "bank robbers."