Warming up the audience for a heated debate
I've been asked back - and so, as I write, I am about to dust down my suit and polish my shoes before heading off to County Durham.
The National Railway Museum's Locomotion site at Shildon is the venue for this evening's lively topical radio discussion programme which airs at 20:00 BST on Friday 15 March 2011.
The panel is made up of:
- Employment Minister, Chris Grayling MP
- 20th Century history professor Richard Grayson
- Former diplomat and labour peer, Lord Malloch-Brown
- Brand guru Rita Clifton
The panellists do not get to see the questions the audience have put forward until they're asked on air.
It's live, and about half an hour before the red light comes on and Jonathan Dimbleby welcomes the nation to the show, I will be putting the audience through its paces. Unless those gathered to hear the panel's answers cheer, laugh, snort, tutt or hiss how will those tuned in at home know what the audience makes of those responses?
Needless to say it won't be a comedy routine, but as temporary ringmaster I will be asking a couple of sure fire questions to get everyone in the mood. Well they worked last time so fingers crossed.
It will probably be as near unanimous as a Royal College of Nursing vote of no confidence in the Health Secretary.
As Bette Davis once notably remarked in the movies:
If I've done my job half right, you might hear the airbags go off as well!