A few weeks ago, I appeared on Radio 4’s Any Questions. Before we went on air, I rebuked the host, Jonathan Dimbleby, for a problem arising from an earlier appearance. The last question is always the one to watch, and the panel had been asked to declare their favourite pudding. “Profiterole, with hot chocolate sauce” I had replied. For the next twelve months, wherever I went, my host would say “We heard what your favourite pudding was, Sir George, so it’s profiterole for pudding.” I began to tire of the delicacy, and resolved to be more careful with the Dimbleby final question next time.
I was appearing with Frank Dobson, in the week when all the papers were running a story that researchers had proved that taller men were more successful with the ladies. As I am 6 ft 4, and Frank Dobson is not, we both calculated that this was the last question.
I was going to say that this was a proposition that Lady Young was not anxious for me to road test, and that 25 years of observing my colleagues in the House had convinced me that it was not true. Dobbo was going to say that, if the researchers were right, Steve Norris was eight foot tall.
We exchanged verbal blows for forty minutes, waiting for the last question. It came “Would the panel declare what is their favourite musical instrument.”