Being on 'The Big Questions' was like having unsatisfying sex with a mediocre partner. It began with expectation which it quickly failed to deliver and ended abruptly just as you were beginning to feel something.
When we entered telford college we had to go through a security check and surrender any water. I was quite hyper from lack of sleep and the effects of the night before, I got a coffee in the cafe before an assistant informed me that I could go to the VIP room. The main difference being some free fruit and real coffee as opposed to instant for the studio audience.
In the 'VIP Room' I was introduced to Nicky Campbell; more presenter than man. He asked me for my opinions on 'bad lads' and whether or not they deserve our adulation. Honestly, I wasn't all that articulate - perhaps it was my awe in the presence of such a mighty figure in the world of day-time television.
Kokumo was there, someone I greatly admire - which made me somewhat nervous. In the show I was disappointed that Nicky didn't speak to Kokumo more. She put a spanner in his 'joke' about Rabbie Burns, which was pretty funny. Kokumo also pointed out to me that we were being used, as we weren't being paid for our appearance. Very good point, next time BBC, some free grapes just won't cut the mustard.
After a trip to the toilet, and a warning that I might not be allowed to wear my 'not for sale' T shirt because it was a logo, we were lead out to the gym which was set up as a small studio.
The audience pleasantly surprised me, being more left of centre than I had anticipated. We had a warm up debate about the BBC and Gaza, where the only people who took the side of the BBC were (unsurprisingly) those on its payroll.
The hour of debate passed pretty quickly, there wasn't really all that much debate to be had. The one comment that I did make was misinterpreted by the mostly silent Sci Fi writer, and Nicky swiftly moved away from my comment as it was 'getting off topic'.
Aah yes, talking about gender in a debate on 'bad lads' ... nothing to do with it... On the other hand the offensively conservative historian managed to suggest that Scots had an irrational loathing for Thatcher....
All in all an enjoyable, but meaningless experience. I met some nice people, and as soon as we went off air there was this feeling of 'is that it?'. I feel that's apt for losing my 'speaking on tv' virginity. Now I can just sit and wait for the call for me to replace Jonathon Ross....