I suppose that given our hosts in Newcastle were the Workers Education Association I shouldn't have been surprised to get a hostile audience, but it comes to something when you're booed before you even sit down! And frankly, they didn't get any friendlier. By the end I reckoned I could have told the funniest joke in the history of joketelling and not got a laugh.
My fellow panellists were Deborah Mattinson (Brown's pollster), Matthew Taylor (Blair's head of policy) and Adrian Fawcett (CEO of the General Healthcare group).
The warm up question was asked by a lady who wanted to know if the coalition would still be in place by the time the Cameron baby starts nursery school. We all gave slightly formulaic answers and all agreed the coalition was probably there for the long term. At the end the questioner came up to and thanked me for my eye contact. She didn't like the fact that none of the others looked at her.
And at 8.02 Eddie Mair welcomed the Radio 4 audience and off we went. The first question (I think) was predictably about the IFS report. I made a lightly nervous start and I seem to remember being booed a couple of times when I defended the coalition's economic approach. But in the end I think the sparring got me into my stride.
Next came a question on health and how the system should be financed and structured. I thought this was probably my best answer and I seemed to make the audience think a little judging from their faces. I talked about how the NHS could never meet all the demands made on it and we had to get away from the 'public good, private bad' prevailing attitudes. I said it wasn't structures that were important, it was outcomes. I also questioned a system which spends £4 billion on gastric bands but can't provide muich needed cancer drugs. As I hadn't had a boo yet, I then suggested some people who wanted gastric bands ought to eat less. Cue the boos!
We then had a question about the cat woman and who or what we'd like to put in a wheelie boin. Deborah Mattinson stole my answer. She said she would put Mrs Bale in it. Bugger, I thought, what do I say now? I said that I'd put Mrs Bale in the Big Cat enclosure at Whipsnade Zoo for 15 hours as I am a believer in restorative justice. Not a titter. OK, not that great but any other audience might have at least pretended to laugh. Not this one.
There then followed three questions which none of us could have predicted - on paternity leave, adult education and library cuts. I don't think any of us gave particularly insightful answers, although I did have a brief spat with La Mattinson when she professed to be deeply suspicious of the Big Society, implying that volunteering was bad if it meant taking over the functions of the State. Matthew Taylor talked a great deal of sense on this and deprecated the left's knee jerk response to the Big Society.
We finished with a question about Twitter from someone who turned out to be one of my blogreaders. Bless you, sir!
So all on all, I'd call the whole thing a bit of a score draw, with the audience possibly winning on points for the level of booing. I certainly didn't enjoy it as much I did on my first appearance a year ago in Ottery St Mary, and I suspect the audience didn't either. Far too much agreement!
If you didn't hear it, the programme is repeated at 1.10pm on Saturday and is then available on iPlayer.
There, only four hours to go now. Time for the iPod and a zzzzz I think.