Magazine article The Spectator


Magazine article The Spectator


Article excerpt

Washington High tea with George Bush in the Oval Office. Polite but tough questioning on my book. He tells me how much he's enjoyed reading it. Next stop, the wonderfully counter-counter-cultural bowling alley with Dick Cheney, flanked by Francis Fukuyama, author of The End of History. They tell me how much they've enjoyed my book.

Paris Croque monsieur for 70 at the Elysée Palace with Nicolas Sarkozy. Nico tells me he's only just put down my book. I tell him how much I'm enjoying his presidency.

We part amicably.

Afghanistan Tothe Tora Bora caves for mint tea with Bin Laden, author of 9/11, then off kiteflying with his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri.

They tell me they take issue with my thesis but have greatly enjoyed my book.

London I, Emily, awake from terrifying yet exhilarating dream in which I have become Andrew Roberts, the historian. Realise with much sadness that no global leader has ever complimented me on my book. Recall with yet more dismay that I have never actually written one.

Put on washing: economy, coloureds, max spin, 60 degrees. Then hastily pick up names dropped carelessly around bedroom in my sleep. Minus a few which I kick under the chair for later use. Piers Morgan has sent me an email advising Beroccas, a pint of milk and a few prayers before we meet for lunch.

Life as a newsreader would not be complete without the wonderful world of award ceremonies. I'm not talking Cannes, Bafta, Venice anything that obvious. No, I mean the Oscars of the Heating and Ventilation World, the Pride of Plumbing, the Celebration of Steel. Believe me, the list goes on. Protocol dictates that you host the awards with a friendly hello and brief introduction.

But sometimes your mind goes blank. I have just hours to go and nothing to kick off the evening. In panic I call up Andrea Catherwood and Katie Derham and seek help. The TV girls are united. You need autocue mishaps, they say. And shower me with their cast-offs. 'Have you done the one where you say, "That's all from the one o'clock news, I'll be back with the main news just before sex"?' Katie asks. 'What about, "And now for the weather, frequent rain and a lot more drivel to come"?' Andrea offers up. Ah, to have such friends. We have shared on-air maternity wear, baby clothes, career highs and lows. But to lend another your own cock-ups?

Greater love hath no man.

Excited call from the Newsnight producer. I have made it, she informs me, on to The Noticeboard. Oh hallowed wall. This is where all our press mentions, our newspaper clippings are proudly displayed. …

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