How did you get into journalism?
Two weeks after my final A-level I started work as a trainee reporter on the Gloucestershire Echo, with a shiny suit and a bad attack of acne. But I loved the Echo, which was part of the Northcliffe Group of newspapers, which of course was part of the Daily Mail group. My career has come full circle because I still write for the Daily Mail alongside my show at GB News.
That first newspaper job was at such an exciting moment in British history. Mrs Thatcher had become Prime Minister exactly two months earlier and as soon as I turned 18 I had voted for her as a schoolboy in Swindon, so I was fascinated by politics even then.
I never thought back then that I would one day be dining with Lady Thatcher in the Goring Hotel, one of her favourites, or that I would be in St Paul's Cathedral, as guest of her family for her funeral in 2013. She was the towering peacetime political figure of the 20th century.
My first journalistic claim to fame was exposing a sex for sale sauna in the shadow of Tewkesbury Abbey in a building owned by the woman Tory Mayor!
And here I am, 43 years later, and I still love the job of reporting. I feel incredibly lucky.
How did your career progress from there?
Once again, I've been very lucky. I've worked for some great newspapers. And I've not been sacked once!
I learnt my trade with nine years on local newspapers in the provinces, a great training ground. I spent 17 years on The Times, starting as a reporter in the press gallery in Parliament. Then I edited the paper’s Diary column, was the Westminster Lobby correspondent, and assistant editor.
Some experiences were less than perfect but also taught me a lot. I worked for the London Daily News which was owned by the crook Robert Maxwell and went under owing me, and many other hacks, lots of money.
I spent six months on the Sunday Express in 1998, which ended with the sacking of the editor Amanda Platell because I dared to reveal the name of the man that Peter Mandelson, then a very powerful New Labour minister, was dating. They're still an item today. Gays in parliament were rarely talked about in those days. Now it seems a positive virtue to be lesbian or gay at Westminster!
I had four years on the Daily Telegraph and was there during the great scandal over politicians’ expenses. Remember the moat and the duck house being claimed on expenses? These were not only exciting stories to work on, it was also important journalism. The public has a right to know these things and it’s our role as journalists to hold politicians and other officials to account.
I've been at the Daily Mail, my spiritual home, for a decade. I love it. I';ve got my own column and write commentaries and political exposes.
How did you get into broadcasting?
I just fell into it when radio stations started inviting me on to talk about various stories, comment pieces and exclusives I'd written in newspapers. It just grew from there and somehow I've become a fairly seasoned broadcaster along the way. I had my first radio show on BBC 5 Live in 1999. I had a show on LBC for 12 years.
What has been your most memorable moment in broadcasting so far?
I was on the radio with the great Dr David Starkey (also a GB News regular) on the morning we woke up to the tragic news of Princess Diana's untimely death in Paris. It was as if time stood still - it was just so surreal we could hardly believe it. I do not subscribe to the crackpot theories she was murdered. She was in a car, driven by a drunk, at high speed and she wasn't wearing a seat belt. I was broadcasting by Westminster Abbey when William and Kate got married. I was at Windsor doing the same for the wedding of Harry and Meghan, of whom I'm not a fan. I've also been honoured to stand in for the legendary Eamonn Holmes on GB News breakfast. It's an incredibly tough gig but a truly incredible one as well.
Tell us something people don't know about you?
I've seen the stage show Mamma Mia! 30 times. Needless to say, I adore ABBA, and I've met all four of the stars of the band. I love the theatre so I try to include theatre stars and theatre news into my show as much as I can.
Why did you join GB News?
It really is The People's Channel. It's brave, outspoken, and long overdue, and I want to be part of that voice.
If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
I wish I'd worked abroad (maybe somewhere like Australia, which I love) and learnt a foreign language, which would have enhanced my chances of going overseas.
What characteristic do you most dislike in others?
What's your biggest indulgence?
My two rescue cats Rosie and Minnie, who get away with murder.