Where did the time go?
Much of it went on a little project called walk4jack. Turned out to be one of the finest things I’ve ever managed to get myself involved with.
A year ago a great young man called Jack Fishwick was playing his usual game of rugby and went up to catch a ball. In the moments that followed he broke his neck. Catastrophically. It left him a tetraplegic and confined to a wheelchair.
Michael receiving the lifetime achievement
at the political book awards.
Jack is stubborn, refused to be beaten. He was determined to regain his independence. He is also my neighbour. So I decided to help him. The result was something called walk4jack where I promised to walk 150 miles in a week to raise money for him and the RFU's Injured Players Foundation. In fact, in the end it stretched and stumbled to 176 miles. But what an adventure!
The outpouring of support was extraordinary – two Prime Ministers, three bishops, a host of political leaders and more than 120 members of the House of Lords. But what was truly inspiring was the help I got from ordinary people – neighbours, friends, total strangers, a taxi driver who refused to take his fare, and so many others.
OK, so at times it was a real pain, and I got lost, and my feet hurt, but we’ve raised more than £30,000. And Jack has that gleam of determination back in his eye. Brilliant. You can read about it at www.walk4jack.com.
Three people who supported my walk4jack were Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright and Beau Willimon. You might have thought they’d be too busy picking up Golden Globes, basking in the success of Season 3 of the great Netflix series and preparing Season 4. But no, they were cheering me on. My House of Cards family is special.
And the House of Cards series somehow climbs to even more dizzy heights. It's a huge hit in China, while the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, the delightful Mr Karim Massimov, sought me out on a visit to Britain to present me with his own personal copy that he bought more than 20 years ago.
I haven’t mentioned the election (if you must, follow me on Twitter). I don’t get a vote. As a peer I am banned by law from voting, along with criminals and the mentally infirm. Yeas, I know, I keep interesting company.
And if you missed my Huw Wheldon Memorial Lecture I gave in February to the Royal Television Society about the Future of Public Service Broadcasting, you can watch it here.
So much more to do, and it’s only April…