A busy year….

Christmas was Celebrity University Challenge. Emphasis on 'challenge'. My team from Christ Church was filled with artists and  political hacks, so inevitably our opening questions were about 18th century German physicists. Ho-hum. We scored a record low for the series. My contribution was to smile.

January – the EU Referendum Bill in the House of Lords. My Bill. A great parliamentary occasion. We fought for weeks to give the people a vote on whether Britain stays in or gets out of the EU. The Bill never stood a chance of passing through the Lords but it has set out the political battleground with stunning clarity. More – much more – to come at the next election. If you're sufferinng from sleeplessness you can read and watch the debates here.

Also in January I succeeded in fillling my diesel car with petrol. My wife says I should get out more.

Michael Premiere

Michael receiving the lifetime achievement
at the political book awards.

February – the second stunning Netflix series of House of Cards. Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright produce two dynamite performances. It's become a global viewing sensation and won Robin a Golden Globe on top of its three Emmys. President Obama tweeted about it; the show is a huge hit in China, and I am weighed down with fan mail from Kyrgyzstan.

NetflixTotal Politics MagazineDaily Mail

March -  the annual Palace of Varieties where we parliamentarians humiliate ourselves on stage on behalf of Macmillan Cancer Support. My version of Mad Dogs and Englishmen might have had Noël Coward wincing and ewasnt very kind about President Hollande but we raised a huge amount of money – £100,000. Worth every flush of embarrassment. Watch extracts here.

Then a surprising evening at the Political Book of the Year awards in central London where to my astonishment I found myself being summoned to the stage to collect the Lifetime Achievement award. I suspect it's a subtle way of telling me I should now retire.

April – in Rome to launch House of Cards. The Italian Prime Minister Renzi was photographed walking into a bookshop and buying a copy. I hope he realizes it's a work of entertainment, not a book of instruction.

Later this week I'm in Boston to pick up another Lifetime Award from my alma mater at Tufts University, and in June off to New York to receive the P T Barnum Award for Excellence in Entertainment.

In the last couple of months new editions of House of Cards have been published in the US, Denmark, China, Italy, Poland, Germany and many other countries, along with an exciting new e-book edition.

And the paperback version of the new Harry Jones novel 'A Ghost at the Door' is now out. It was short-listed for the Political Fiction of the Year award. The Daily Express said 'the excitement never lets up but underneath is a love story that is just as compelling' and the BBC suggested it was 'the best Harry Jones yet'. Visit Amazon Store

It's been a bit of a year. More fun to come.

Michael's Signature


Follow @dobbs_michael
    • FU: a new analysis suggests a gentleman has sex on his elbows . Ridiculous. A real man has sex on his yacht. @HouseofCards,
    • FU: Jesus told us to forgive our enemies & who am I to second-guess Him? Didn't say a damn thing about forgiving our friends. @HouseofCards,
    • FU: So what does Mr Putin have apart from his sense of humour? And a bad case of gas? @HouseofCards,
    • FU: Don't ever chisel 'Fondly Remembered' on my gravestone. Anything but that. @HouseofCards,
    • FU: There is nothing more dangerous in politics than to be right when everybody else is wrong. @HouseofCards,
    • Aussie rules! “The wonderful talks politics, life and with on ,
    • to be first Jewish PM? Only two centuries too late. Tories had first woman too. And first non-white? ? ?,
    • Nigel Evans acquitted by jury after less than 6 hours. Am I only one left wondering why charges were ever brought?,
    • Watched 'sQuestions yesterday. Public in gallery utterly bemused. Was it bullfight? Roman arena? No, just democracy.,
    • Italian PM Renzi walked into Rome bookshop yesterday and bought copy of House of Cards. Hope he realises it's entertainment not instruction,
    • Sitting in sun on Rome rooftop after 2 days of House of Cards promo thinking Julius Caesar probably wrote the first draft. Thank you, Italy!,
    • Always strong supporter of . As Tory can't turn round to someone and say you are not equal simply because you are different.,
    • STOP PRESS: Francis Urquhart Returns! at 10.00am Sat - Inheritance Tracks ,
    • For a real treat check out my young friend Charlie's travel blog at Four years on a bloody bike!,
    • Great news! CPS at last bringing charges re . 66,000 victims in England-Wales. They deserve justice.,
    • Now on to serious stuff. My question in Lords this morning on . 66,000 victims yet not a single prosecution.,
    • Preparing for one more humiliation - tonight as Noël Coward parliamentary in aid of . The Empire lives!,
    • Have question in Lords in 2 weeks on Female Genital Mutilation. Why no prosecutions for this barbaric crime?,
    • Turning Point with was one of most exciting and emotional evenings of my life. Delighted it is returning to @SkyArts.,
    • Getting ready for ritual humiliation once more. MPs and Peers sing for their support - and Macmillan Cancer Support. ,
    • S2 is stunning. Jaw dropping. Starts with great writing & is one of finest TV writers in world. I am so lucky.,
    • More Futile Facts. Much of BBC series shot not in Westminster but Manchester town hall, Netflix series in Baltimore warehouse.,
    • Futile Fact #4 . Prime Minister John Major said FU 'has 'done for my job what Dracula has done for babysitting'.,
    • Futile Fact #3 . The original TV series about knifing a Prime Minister aired in week Maggie Thatcher was forced out in tears.,
    • Futile Fact #5 . The UK series got 14 BAFTA nominations. The US series 9 Emmy and 4 Golden Globe nominations - so far. Enjoy!,

    The Turning Point

    Michael's play stars Benedict Cumberbatch & Matthew Marsh and centres around a little known 1938 meeting between
    Winston Churchill and Guy Burgess.
    Click here to view the live broadcast.

    Sky Arts Theatre Live