The BBC green room

I’ve been in Romsey, Hampshire, as a panellist on the BBC Radio 4 show Any Questions.

The audience asked some pretty tough questions about the new British passport contract, the Brexit deal on fishing, and the Cambridge Analytica investigation. 

On shows like this, things can get pretty heated on the panel when you’ve got people with very different beliefs arguing passionately about the big issues of the day.

But if you had a peek behind the scenes in the green room – that’s what they call the place where everyone meets to warm up before the show – you’d see a different side.

We got on brilliantly as we chatted away to calm the nerves. My fellow panellists were all great people—Suella Fernandes, the Conservative MP for Fareham and a fellow Brexiteer; Sir Vince Cable, the Lib Dem leader and definitely not a Brexiteer! The fourth panellist was Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary.

Diane is a real lefty and as you can imagine we disagree on lots of things. But she was also friendly, talkative and charming. One of the things we talked about was the local hospital where my brother is a surgeon. He was my guest in the studio audience.