Monday, 16 April 2012
Tonight I’m going on “The Agenda”, the news & current affairs discussion programme hosted by Tom Bradby (ITV, 10.35pm). I said yes mainly because Ed Miliband’s going to be on it, and the opportunity to debate political issues with him was just too irresistible. Heresy listeners will know that I’ve met Ed Miliband once before, when a well-meaning friend attempted to matchmake us, about a hundred years ago. That didn’t really work out. In fact, we had a row about the Middle East, which is not (in my experience) the best way to set a romantic mood.
But now he’s the leader of the Labour Party, and I’m fascinated to see what it’ll be like to argue with him in a formal, professional way. Which is not the same as “argue against him”, by the way. I don’t know whether we’ll disagree. It might turn out we think similarly about all the topics; we’re not so different, I wouldn’t be that surprised. And I do like Ed Miliband, from a distance. He seems a bit like a certain sort of Only Connect contestant. And of course, there is no higher compliment. [UPDATE: I’ve just got back from the recording, and I really think Ed Miliband is good news. Properly nice, funny and clever. I wish he could put that across on screen as well as he does in real life - but far better that way round than the other.]
The other panellists are Joanna Trollope and Sir Peter Bazalgette. At the moment, the programme-makers think we’re going to be discussing tobacco, tax returns and the Titanic (all the Ts - like an episode of QI). But that might change, according to what the news does during the day. They’re also threatening to discuss Anders Brevik, the Norwegian gunman, in which case I must make a stern mental note not to try and say anything funny.