Mucking out my Dad’s pigs on a Saturday morning for 10p an hour
First Real Job
Researcher to Patrick Thompson MP 1985-7
First Role in Politics
Chairman of UEA Conservatives in 1981
An orange Ford Cortina Mk III, lovingly nicknamed the Big Jaffa. I wrote it off on my 20th birthday.
Long haired Lover from Liverpool by Jimmy Osmond. The shame lives with me still.
First Football Match
Cambridge Utd v Westham in a 1972 testimonial at the Abbey Stadium
Darts at a free concert in Harlow in 1977
First Country Visited
France, on a day trip to Boulogne at the age of 7
First TV Appearance
Multi Coloured Swap Shop in 1978
First Political Speech
April 1982 during a debate on the Falklands at my university. It all started there…
Rachel Elliott at Ashdon County Primary School. She had a runny nose.
First Encounter with a Famous Person
Cyril Fletcher from That’s Life at a pantomime in the Arts Theatre Cambridge ca 1973
First Brush With Death
Hitting a Transit Van head on at 50 mph in the days before seatbelts. The long bonnet of my Cortina Mk III saved me – and my two sisters.
First House/Flat Owned
70 Howard Road, Walthamstow, in July 1988 – probably the worst time ever to buy a flat.
First Film Seen at a Cinema
Sound of Music at Saffron Walden Cinema, which is sadly no longer there.
First Time on the Radio
On the Radio One Breakfast Show with Mike Read in 1981 on Beat the Jock. I didn’t.
First Politician I Met
Shirley Williams who spoke at my school in 1977
First Book I Remember Reading
The Secret of Spiggy Holes by Enid Blyton
First Visit to the London Palladium
1978, to see the reunion of Cliff & the Shadows!
1985 Norfolk County Council election, Catton Grove Ward. My finals were the next day. Had to be postponed after I suffered from shock having knocked a motorcyclist off his bike on polling day and breaking his leg. He was a Labour voter…