Politics.co.uk Blog

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Ken baffled as never before

I've just come from a rather bizarre trip to north London, playing the part of a panel show guest with Ken Livingstone in the chair.

The former London mayor, once king of all he surveyed from City Hall, now spends two afternoons every month presenting a book review programme on Press TV.

This was an opportunity not to be passed up. A pleasant 23 minutes was passed discussing Cambridge historian Ben Wilson's third book, What Price Liberty?, which comes out in paperback this week.

More interesting, of course, was experiencing first-hand Ken's small-talk treatment.

The man is legendary. Within the space of around 15 minutes we covered everything from Vince Cable's Labour past to 70,000-year-old volcanic eruptions.

He was happy to admit he was an expert at having opinions on things, even if he didn't fully understand them.

The only exception to this appeared to be the general election. On this, as never before, he said, he did not have the foggiest who would come out on top. It's tough being a spectator, but Ken is doing his best at it - in his own inimitable way.

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