It’s being officially announced later this morning, but I wanted my esteemed readers to be the first to know, that I am being raised to the peerage to replace Michael Ashcroft in the House of Lords. It’s a great honour and I am very grateful to Michael for resigning his seat and allowing me to take his place. I’m told it was a close run thing between me and Tim Montgomerie, but I’m told the Prime Minister so enjoys Tim’s almost nightly appearances on Newsnight that I got the nod.

I have chosen Lord Dale of Leicester Square as my title and I want to make clear that joining the House of Lords will have no impact on my LBC show, although it will be retitled Lord Dale at Drive. Listeners will not be obliged to call me Lord Dale. Sir will do.

The Prime Minister has kindly agreed that I can miss any votes that take place between 4 and 8pm for the time being, although discussions are ongoing about allowing me to vote remotely from the brand spanking new LBC studio. Apparently adding one more button to the several thousand already being installed won’t cause too much inconvenience.

Once the appointment has been ratified by the House of Lords Appointments Commission (which could take some time…) I will be introduced into the Lords by Christmas 2018. I will be introduced by Ray Allan and Lord Charles. I intend to sit between Baroness Trumpington and Lord Camberwick Green.

I reject as totally untrue the rumour that my elevation to the peerage is any way linked to the forthcoming publication by Biteback Publishing of my next book “David Cameron: Hero, Adonis, Possibly the Best Prime Minister in the History of Prime Ministers”.

Meanwhile I shall make preparations to avoid being caught up in another Channel 4 secret camera sting.

I thank you in advance for your sincere congratulations.

UPDATE: April fool!