Football Focus visits Downing Street
I know politicians polarise opinion - especially when they talk about football - but David Cameron (along with Prince William, David Beckham and others) has a crucial role to play this week and it was the perfect time to get his views on all things 2018.
As you read this - as long as it's before Thursday - he is probably involved in some sort of meeting with a Fifa delegate trying to persuade them that England is the place to be in eight years.
You can always tell when we've got an important interview lined up on Focus because you get phone calls from lots of BBC big hitters. There were all sorts of people interested in what we would be asking, what line we would take and what we were doing with it afterwards. It was also important to make sure that we were on safe ground editorially and didn't need to balance things up by speaking to every political party out there.
The Panorama programme obviously added a little more weight to the interview and, in the end, it was Mr Cameron's quote about being "frustrated" that made BBC News at Six and Ten last Friday and the newspapers on Saturday. I'll be honest, there was something very satisfying about Fiona Bruce saying "you can see the full interview with the prime minister on Football Focus tomorrow at 1215 on BBC One."
Getting comfortable at Number 10
We received confirmation from Number 10 last Wednesday that the prime minister would be available the following day at 1630 GMT. We needed to be at Downing Street from 1500 to set up. Editor Mark Cole, director Ian Finch and I all left BBC TV Centre together (suited and booted) and wandered past the Number 10 security guards at 1450.
I remember going to Downing Street on a school trip back in the early 1990s. The policeman outside the front door confiscated a tennis ball that my friend and I had been playing football with on the coach journey there. I did enquire if it was still knocking around in lost property but sadly there was a negative response.
Behind the most famous front door in the world we were ushered upstairs to a room that was Margaret Thatcher's study during her time as chief and was also used by Sir Winston Churchill for his afternoon naps!
Nothing is ordinary in Downing Street. In the corner was some authentic rock from the moon - a gift from the American president back in the 1960s.
While we were setting up, there was a healthy debate about what type of sofa we should use. With fellow ambassador Gary Lineker present as well, we needed enough space for both of them but didn't want it so padded that they were on a 45 degree angle. Normally in these situations, we would move furniture ourselves but when the couch is a gift from Tsar Nicholas II, Number 10 are understandably cagey about who lifts what.
With the room prepared, we had a discussion with communications director Andy Coulson and the prime minister's media team about questions, agreeing that the cameras would be rolling from the moment he stepped into the room.
He arrived, on time, straight from a meeting with the Swedish consulate. We spoke for a couple of minutes and then got down to business. The interview lasted about 15 minutes and made a significant chunk of last week's show which you can see here...
After the interview, we posed for the official photograph and then I asked the PM if he wanted to take on Lawro in our Premier League predictions challenge. When I told him Alastair Campbell was top of the table, that seemed to clinch it! So, this is what the prime minister thinks will happen this weekend. He's an Aston Villa fan by the way!
We said our goodbyes, packed up and left. There was a great moment as we departed. We walked out the door at 1705, just as Adam Boulton was doing a live for Sky News. Sadly, I can't post it on here but you can see us all wandering about in the background carrying massive bags. To say we looked a little dodgy is something of an understatement.
The thing I took away from meeting the PM is that - both on and off camera - he is 100% behind the bid. Whatever you think of his politics or football knowledge, if he has a positive impact in Zurich this week that can only be good for football in this country.
The reaction to 2018 will obviously make up a large part of this week's show - 1215 GMT on BBC One - and we'll have a chat with Owen Coyle about how well Bolton are doing at the moment.
As ever if you've got any questions or comments about this blog or the show them whack them down below. You can follow all the build-up to Saturday's show at twitter.com/danwalkerbbc where last week's themed football team was a Lord of the Rings XI. I will leave you with that this week. See you soon.
Jan Aragorn of Hesselink
Bobby Mordor (c)
Alfrodo Di Stefano