Could you do 'Any Questions' this week?" emailed the AQ editor, Lisa. "Love to," I thought. Then came the sting. "It's in Carlisle," she said. "Bugger," I thought. I'd already agreed to do Good Morning Britain that morning at 6.15am. "Of course," I said. "Carlisle? Not a problem...". I'm a convincing liar at times.

So after GMB was over, I went back to the hotel thinking I'd get a bit more sleep. Not a chance. Anyway... I got the 2.30pm from Euston along with fellow panellist Therese Coffey and Jonathan Dimbleby. We weren't sat together but I had a nice gossip with both of them on the way up. We arrived at 5.50pm and met Labour's Andy McDonald for the pre-show meal. All very genial.

Unfortunately, Layla Moran, the fourth panellist had decided to emulate Shirley Williams and got the wrong train. After my chicken pieces and raspberry cheesecake (not together!) we were drive to Cumbria University (I kid ye not) where the show was taking place, in the rather nice Stanwix Theatre. 

This was about the eighth time I have appeared on the programme. I used to get incredibly nervous, but then worked out that seeing as I spent 12 hours a week on the radio talking about subjects I may know nothing about, I ought to be able to tackle any subject which is thrown at me.

I usually have a series of cue cards on which I write three bullet points just in case I dry up. This time I only prepared two cards - on the terror attack in New Zealand and Bloody Sunday. That one never came up. It turned out only one person in the audience had put a question in on it.

Jonathan introduced us all and was very generous to me indeed. Having been described as "ubiquitous" in his trail on PM, he now called me "prolific". Hard to argue with, I guess. 

Time for the first question: In the light of the New Zealand terror attack, when will the British government take threats from the far right seriously? Jonathan came to me first. In my supplementary I told the audience I had banned extreme right Islamophobes from my radio show, including Tommy Robinson and Gerard Batten.

The second question was on Brexit and I had a right old go at the chaos in government. I felt rather sorry for Therese. She was certainly batting on a somewhat sticky wicket.

The third question was on the school climate change strikes. I decided to lay into Layla who had given a somewhat motherhood and apple pie answer. I rather ruined it by being too flippant, suggesting we all have a group hug.

We were then asked how we relax as a quick final question. I said by shouting "Come on You Irons" at West Ham on a Saturday afternoon. I imagine that's the first time that phrase has been used on Any Questions. And that was that!

I got home to Kent at 3.30am! 

Embed from Getty Images

Just a final word about Jonathan Dimbleby, as this was probably the last time I will be on the programme with him. He's been presenting Any Questions for 32 years - quite an astonishing achievement. He is a brilliant host and knows how to put first time panelists at their ease. He's got an encyclopedic knowledge of politics and puts it to good use during each show. And he also knows the weakness in any argument you put forward. He also spends a lot of time with the hosts at each venue before making the long trek home. 

Whoever steps into Jonathan's shoes has one hell of an act to follow.