I may deal with politicians almost every day of my working life, but that didn’t reduce the nerves as I delivered the first question of Thursday’s Question Time in Lynn.
Talking to a local MP or councillor, predominantly on local issues, is something is one thing.
It’s quite another to feel as though you’re asking a question not just for the community you’re part of, but for millions that have tuned in to hear the issues of the day debated.
I’d written the question I asked, should Britain follow Barack Obama’s lead and keep all options open on Iraq, about two hours before filming began.
Then, about half an hour before recording started, I was told my question would be the first of the show. Cue the nerves.
As we waited for recording, which begins around two hours before the programme goes on air, to start, I re-read the slip of paper with my question on it three or four times and tried, and failed, to relax a little bit.
Once I delivered the question, and came back after the panel’s answers, I sat back and enjoyed the rest of the programme, even if the panellists were too often concerned with scoring points off each other, rather than answering the questions that had been put to them.
And, as the programme went out, I had plenty of nice Twitter and phone messages from people who reckoned I’d come across well, though there was one person who wasn’t nearly so impressed.
That was my mum, who quickly brought me back down to earth at the weekend by telling me off for not making sure my tie was straight. Think I’ll get back to the day job.