So, I’m lurking outside the conference hall on Wednesday morning just before Jo Swinson’s speech when my phone rings.
The unfamiliar voice from the blocked number announces herself as a producer from Brian Taylor’s Big Debate.
She asks me if I’d like to come along on Friday as it was in Livingston.
I wonder if they are struggling for audience members and are ringing round the usual suspects.
Then she says “as a member of the panel.”
I just about jumped out of my skin.
Well, I can hardly complain about lack of women on panels and then refuse to do one when I’m asked and available, can I?
So, that’s the story of how an ordinary mum from Livingston found herself on the panel of a popular radio show along with Youth Employment Minister and my local MSP Angela Constance, Labour MEP Catherine Stihler, Colin Borland of the Federation of Small Businesses and Ross Martin of the Centre of Scottish Public Policy.
I arrived at Howden Park Centre just before 11:30 and sat with the other panellists. My mouth was dry and I was trembling with fear.
I think I managed not to screw up majorly – although the words got garbled en route from brain to gob a few times.
I did enjoy it though. I need to be a little more assertive about butting in next time, if they should ever let me back on.
I am incredibly grateful for all my friends online and on the phone who kept me sane and reassured in the run up to the event. That’s even the one who, when told what I was about to do chose not to say “you’ll be great.” Instead she just burst out laughing. I’m also really thrilled with the friends who would never normally be seen dead listening to a political debate, will never get that hour back again and who were very kind about my performance.
It’s here if you want to listen.