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 wasnt very kind about President Hollande but we raised a huge amount of money – £100,000. Worth every flush of embarrassment. Watch extracts here. Later we raised another six-figure sum for Macmillan with the Lords versus Commons tug of war. The Lords team came a close second.

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 Signor 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.

Also to Boston to pick up another Lifetime Award from my alma mater at Tufts University, then in June 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, South Korea, France, Norway and many other countries, along with an exciting new e-book edition.

The paperback version of the new Harry Jones novel 'A Ghost at the Door' is 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

And now we have nearly finished shooting House of Cards Season 3. It may be a love story, too – but not in the way the local vicar might accept. In fact, I think you'll find it more wicked than ever.

And so it goes on. Campaigning in Scotland to keep it in the United Kingdom, making speeches urging reform of the European Union before Britain gets out. The most hectic but in many ways the most enjoyable year of my life. Since it included the 30th anniversaary of the bombing of the Grand Hotel in Brighton, which was in many ways a turning point in my life, it reminded me how fortunate I have been. I never take a single day for granted.

It's been a bit of a year. And some new announcements in 2015 – but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Enjoy what we have.

Michael's Signature


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    • Just finished - Superb Allan Cubitt and N Ireland. Regional drama, worldwide impact. Must watch. Start burning your iPlayer.,
    • Just for the record - a tireless worker to stop food waste and hunger. She got it wrong because she was trying too hard.,
    • Shooting of Series 3 now finished. More brilliantly wicked writing by . Just gets BETTER. Have an FU Christmas!,
    • Why lend to Russians and not Greeks? Is it beyond our wit to find way of sharing such extraordinary beauty with its creators?,
    • Back to the Thirties with the ? Hope not. Can you guess who ran much of their political output then? Bloody Guy Burgess!,
    • Lively dinner at HighComm. Beautiful but most unfortunate country. Hope they find their sitting on huge puddle of Mediterranean oil.,
    • So has sense of humour. Better that than no sense at all. Pretty crap speech, but worth a thousand votes in Portsmouth!,
    • So sorry to hear of death of . Fantastic author and delightful individual. Always smiling. What a career, what a character.,
    • Just out of exhibit . Stunning. Full of passion. How does he make paint leap out of canvas like that? Must-see.,
    • Busy week & in Rome, in Dorset, everywhere. Sad to miss memorial. Special lady.,
    • Fab evening raising lots of money for hospice in my old haunts of West Dorset. Great place, wonderful people & 20 years of caring.,
    • Just heard one of finest speeches I've ever heard from brave and battered Jack Fishwick, my young neighbour. Go !,
    • Birthday Boy. The candles now cost more than the cake. But wife says I'm far too immature to count as Wise Old Bird. The plan is working.,
    • At with having great time. Awards handed out soon!,
    • My words re JudyM in House of Lords debate: 'Why is still in ? Her great Scottish reels? No. Her great Scottish roots.',
    • Anybody who knew about sex abuse should now retire from public office. Includes bishops, cardinals, TV execs and Gerry Adams.,
    • The Church, BBC, now IRA apologising for covering up sex abuse. Everybody's so bloody sorry! But somehow saying sorry just isn't enough.,
    • Will miss brave smile. Very glad she was with loved ones not in hospital. We need more control over our lives - and deaths.,
    • Mr Barosso: 'Could UK get by without a little help from friends in Europe?' He has no sense of history. It's usually been other way round.,
    • Treaty of Rome called for 'ever closer union among the peoples of Europe'. The peoples - not officials. Back to basics. ,
    • Change in Europe is inevitable & urgent. Head in trough and bum in the air no longer an option. Time for EU to stand and stretch.,
    • EU has 3 Presidents, 2 Parliaments and not a single set of audited accounts. Time for Mr Barosso to take a long look in the mirror?,
    • Does anyone in Europe apart from Barosso think the EU is in right place? Mr B plays Canute while sensible people try to find a better way.,
    • Tremendous dinner raised record total for election campaign and . Next week . Onwards to May 7th!,
    • Instead of leadership debates, why not bacon buttie eating contest? If it's like EU Bill, opposition won't even turn up. ,

    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


    Michael Promo Video

    Click above to watch Michael in action.