Up early for a radio panel with Mark Dolan, Christopher Biggins and Shapi Korsandi, then a quick visit to the Apple Store to buy a battery pack. They didn't have the one I wanted, natch. Someone texted me to say the Sturgeon interview was playing big in the Scottish papers and they weren't wrong. Front page of the Herald and front page and two inside pages of the Scotsman, but could I find a newsagent? It took me ages. I've never been to a city with fewer newsagents or convenience stores. 

Ruth Davidson Edinburgh

Meanwhile my able assistant, Fin, decided to leaflet Ruth Davidson. She's first on my list for next year as our headline guest.

Then it was back to the digs to do a bit of prep for John McDonnell and Nicholas Soames. Didn't take long to be honest. I never write lists of questions. I have a single cue card with maybe four or five bullet points indicating areas I intend to cover - just in case I forget. 

So then it was off to the Gilded Balloon to do a quick radio interview about the show for the BBC Wales Sunday Supplement show.

John Mcdonnell Edinburgh

And then showtime with Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell. I've always enjoyed interviewing John. He and I agree on virtually nothing, but he always engages and we both enjoy a good joust. I was rather surprised at his answers on an Indyref2, where he seemed to stray very far from official Labour policy, which as I understood it was to reject any request from the SNP for another referendum. John said if the Scottish people, through their Parliament requested one, it would have to be granted  by a Labour government. As it happens, I agree with him, but that is not what Jeremy Corbyn or the Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard have articulated. 

One of his other answers, towards the end, on whether Labour were now the party of Remain seemed to go directly against Jeremy Corbyn's stance on what a second referendum would be about. He said Labour would support Remain in any such referendum, but Corbyn's position, as I understand it, is to have a referendum on a new Brexit deal which Labour would have negotiated. John seemed to be suggesting they would still back Remain, and argue against the very deal Labour had themselves negotiated. Preposterous. But he then said the other option on the ballot paper would be for people to mandate Labour to negotiate a particular deal. Nope, me neither.

Nicholas Soames Edinburgh

At 6pm it was Sir Nicholas Soames in the chair over at the museum and he both charmed and entertained the audience. I really enjoyed our chat as he's such a great raconteur. There were periods when I wouldn't speak for minutes on end because there wasn't any need for me. The greatest skill an interviewer can have is to know when to shut up. It's not about me. The audience had come to see him. Nicholas reckoned that Britain is facing its biggest crisis since 1940. He also talked in detail about his visit to Robert Mugabe a couple of years ago, which landed him in a bit of hot water. We started off by talking about his grandfather, Sir Winston Churchill, who died when Nicholas was 17. Fascinating stuff.

Nicholas Soames Edinburgh

Anyway, it appears both of my guests have "committed news" and both feature prominently in today's newspapers. It's been quite a couple of days.

After the show I met Charles and Sallie Hendry for a drink at the rather nice Hotel du Vin before walking down to the Royal Mile for a meal in a restaurant called La Garrigue with my friend Angela Entwistle, her husband Al and her son (and my able assistant!) Fin. 

Tomorrow I'm going to see Sarah Southern perform her show TENTATIVELY TORY, then I'm guesting on Christopher Biggins' LATE LUNCH before entertaining Jacqui Smith, Louise Casey and then Paul Gambaccini.