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


Follow @dobbs_michael
    • The Victims ,
    • I lied to you. Promised 250K steps and 150miles . It's already been 328K and 160miles. My feet won't forgive me. Hope you will.,
    • What happened to plans? Took 28 miles and 11 hours on road yesterday. The map lies - or I'm incompetent. But FINAL DAY TODAY!,
    • Tomorrow all nostalgia. Pass house I was born & 1st school. Visit old friend of my mum's. Then to my 2nd school . Memories.,
    • What happened to weather forecast? Swore I saw white caps on River Lea. Longest part of . 28 miles today. He's worth it.,
    • Need every ounce of resolve to leave . But won't wait. On to Olympic Park.,
    • Pouring rain so sneaked into , London's oldest riverside pub, for quick half pint. Don't tell anyone.,
    • Raining, but who cares? I smash through 150 miles today. Will eat two dinners tonight to celebrate.,
    • My 2nd brekkie of day in shadow of Windsor Castle. Bacon tough like shoe leather, eggs scrambled like my brain, but who cares?,
    • Burning 5000 kcals a day. Then realise that's equivalent of 25 pints of beer. Every day. Something to be said for midlife madness after all.,
    • Swap walking boots for DJ. Dash to London to host . Great crowd. But trousers falling down. Could hide camel in them.,
    • Plan easy 15-miles to Windsor, but end up mad 18.5 mile dash through snowstorm of blackthorn blossom. Woodpeckers shout at me to push, push.,
    • Discover GoogleMap tells lies! Fantastic tool, but underestimates the little wiggles of walking. Every day longer than planned. Or is it me?,
    • More than 70 members of have supported . Amazing colleagues! Or did they just want to get rid of me???,
    • Finish day, & write obit of dear friend Sir Jim Spicer, died yesterday. He was stubborn. I borrow that, and miss him.,
    • New day . So much better. Sun, slow water, birdsong by &AvonCanal. Spring coming to life along waterway.,
    • Bloody day . Biting wind, terrible tracks, lost plot. Absolutely knackered. BUT MADE IT! 43 miles. Feet of fire! Need beer.,
    • Thank you . Extraordinary place run by . Seriously special people, fun dinner. Now to sleep. Bollixed. Totally.,
    • Detour on Salisbury Plain, walked several extra miles, feet on fire, totally knackered but SO WHAT? & worth it!,
    • Reach . Large gathering of campers for eclipse. Spurred on by shouts of encouragement and drifting clouds of exotic tobacco,,
    • Start with Most glorious Wilts day. Eclipse of sun, grayling, swans, cheeky wren. Villagers of Wylye wave me off.,
    • More than 70 members of have supported . Every single party has helped. My colleagues awesome. Truly humbling.,
    • Back home from Westminster to discover wonderful card from entire Fishwick family. It will be my proudest memento.,
    • Tomorrow's kick-off breakfast a sell-out. Surrounded by tea urns and sausages. Onwards!,
    • Budget Day - yet still found time to make donation to . Thank you, George! Have a great day yourself.,

    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.