I met two of my heroes on Feedback this week.
Matthew Parris popped into the studio, en route to the Moral Maze, to discuss his campaign against the overuse of the historic present tense which he says is now rampant in the media.
Matthew is the most polite and charming of guests but he is alarmingly honest about himself as well as about others. (Do have a read of his autobiography if you doubt me. It is a classic.)
His knowledge of grammar is profound and I soon understand why he writes for the Times and I do not. Our interview is one of my less challenging ones. He just knows far more about the subject than I do.
Matthew also has a talent for perversity. I wonder if he, rather like fellow columnist Simon Jenkins, sometimes argues an extreme case just to see what the reaction will be. Both delight in opposing the consensus.
Then I talk, sorry, talked, to the BBC’s chief international correspondent Lyse Doucet, who has just returned from Gaza. Our inbox is full of allegations of bias in the BBC’s reporting of the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Apparently the Corporation’s news is anti-Palestinian and anti-Israeli at the same time.
I wanted to talk to Lyse about these allegations but also about how difficult it is to report on the ground in Gaza with rockets and shells going off around you and children being killed and maimed in front of you.
Despite her harrowing work, Lyse is also very charming and smiling. She seems such a caring, sensitive person, doesn’t she suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder? She has seen the most dreadful things, not only in Gaza but also in Syria and Afghanistan. Why does she keep going back?
This is our Feedback interview with her:
The BBC's chief international correspondent on the challenges of reporting on war.
When I was a young schoolboy in a quiet town in the north of England I thought Carol was so sophisticated and alluring. I longed for her to be my Mrs Robinson, as played by Anne Bancroft in The Graduate.
I was also blown over by the elegant and beautiful Ms Bron in those early BBC TV satire programmes and of course in the Beatles film, Help!
Paul McCartney says he named Eleanor Rigby after her.
All I can say is that both Carol and Eleanor did not disappoint when I met them.