Twenty-five (good and bad) personal reasons to remember 2020

New Years is always a time to reflect on what has happened in the past twelve months – the good and the bad. Friends you made, loved ones you lost.

2019 was a great year for me. Moving to the evening slot turned out to be a great thing as much of the breaking political news was happening in the slot that year. My television work rose to the point where I said no to things more than yes, although I appreciate that few people will believe this is true. I’ve also written more for national newspapers than ever before. I did a 24 show run at the Edinburgh Fringe and signed two major book deals. However, all work and no play makes Jack a boring boy and my personal life has suffered as a result. I have neglected long-standing friendships and spent very little time in our Norfolk home.

So here are my 25 things to remember about 2020 (in no particular order!) …

Completion of the letter WHY CAN’T WE ONLY REMOVE ALL? The release was postponed from May to August. And sign 1500 copies of it. Publication of the PRIME MINISTERS in November and compilation of all 55 authors to deliver on time! And sign 1100 copies! Win ‘Pointless Celebrities’ with Jacqui Smith. Recorded in January but not broadcast until November. On the way to Good Morning Britain in February. 2020 was the second year in a row that I haven’t traveled abroad. Greta Thurberg is happy about me. I take a call from Denise in Headley at LBC and then invite her to present the show with me the next evening. Appears twice for questions and, after my criticism, is no longer invited to Question Time after the last time. Discovering Zoom and getting used to watching live TV from my dining room. Interview with Ken Clarke live on stage in Nottingham in February. Hosting 6 weekly podcasts. For the third time and for the second time with Shelagh Fogarty, to host coverage of LBC’s American Election Night. Get used to watching live football on TV with no spectators and not attending a proper game since February. Appears at the UK’s first Drive-in Literary Festival at Appledore in Devon. Nearly 100 shows broadcast from my bedroom during lockdown. I took a call from Cliff in Hoddesdon, whose mother had died of Covid just two hours earlier. Chairman of the Orwell Prize Judges for the UK Social Evils Award. Win a Political Politeness Award with Jacqui Smith for our For the Many podcast. Further development of my weekly newsletter on Sunday evening, which goes to 5,000 people every week. Interview with Mike Pompeo. Interview with Sir Cliff Richard. Only able to travel to Norfolk less than 8 times a year. Don’t buy a car. Once again. Earned another Greta point. Appears on countless other podcasts, culminating in Matt Forde’s Political Party. Start of my online shop which turned into in December. The love of my dogs.

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