Cheltenham Literature Festival Review: Nick Robinson
Nick Robinson stood in the sweltering heat at Camp David, in Maryland, USA at an outdoor press conference with President George Bush and Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
With no shade and no hat in sight the BBC’s political editor could feel his bald head burning in the bright sunshine.
After asking President Bush a question at an earlier interview on the Iraq war which had left the leader of the free world irate, Mr Robinson opted for a slightly more innocuous line of questioning this time around.
He mopped his brow with a handkerchief and asked his question.
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After answering President Bush said flatly: “Next time you should cover your bald head.”
Immediately after the obligatory “grip and grin” photograph between the President and Prime Minister they turned and made their way toward Marine One, the President’s helicopter.
Unable to resist Mr Robinson said quietly, or so he thought, “I didn’t know you cared Mr President”.
President Bush paused and turned around.
“I don’t,” he said curtly.
For a man who spends his life around, and getting under the skin of, some of the most powerful people in the world Nick Robinson is a walking anecdote library.
And his tales, like the one above, delighted a sold out crowd at Cheltenham Literature Festival.
Other stories included Gordon Brown accidentally showing on camera a note handed to him from an aide written in large black pen which read: “Calm down: You know Nick Robinson gets under your skin.”
Another detailed the time Nicolas Sarkozy told Mr Brown that he loved him.
However, aside from the stories Mr Robinson also discussed the challenges of impartiality, the time Peter Mandelson tried to get him sacked and the hate mail he received after changing his glasses.
He also talked about the “incredible abuse” he receives on Twitter, the result of which has been his wife banning him from looking at the social media site before he goes to sleep.
“My wife has forbidden me from reading them before I go to bed,” he said.
“I try not to read these tweets before I go to bed because they are upsetting.”