Last night, I had the chance to catch up with some old friends for dinner. As the conversation and wine flowed, we began to discuss which celebrities and important figures we would want to invite to a dinner party.
It would be fair to say that there were some very interesting choices for potential dinner guests. Suggested names included Meryl Streep, Tiger Woods, Nelson Mandela and Jose Mourinho. Though, the most bizarre suggestion came from my friend Karen who decided that she wanted to invite Robbie Savage, so that she could ask him how long it takes him to style his hair in the morning.
While I have no doubt that hairdressing advice from Robbie Savage would make enthralling dinner conversation, I decided not to include him in my list of celebrity dinner guests.
So, after much thought and consideration, I thought it would be fun to write a blog on who I would invite to my a-list celebrity dinner party.
This may be seen as a controversial choice. Though, I am a committed Liberal Democrat, I have always admired Tony Blair. No one should ever under-estimate the achievement of taking a Labour Party that was unelectable in the 1980s to three successive election victories in 1997, 2001, 2005. Blair’s incredible ability to communicate his messages and understand the public mood was one of the principle reasons for that success.
It would be fascinating to discuss how he was able to transform the Labour Party and to analyse some of the decisions he had to make as Prime Minister. Some of the issues that I would want to touch on would include the decision to invade Iraq, public sector investment and his relationship with Gordon Brown.
I could not possibly have a dinner party without including Rangers’ greatest ever striker. As I was growing up, there was absolutely no doubt that Ally McCoist was my hero. Not only did he always emerge with the winning goal whenever Rangers needed it, but he always looked like he had incredible fun while doing it. You knew that the reason he enjoyed it so much was that he was a Rangers fan and was truly living his dream.
I had the opportunity to meet Ally McCoist at an event just outside Edinburgh when I was 8 years old and he not only met, but exceeded my expectations. He was a gentleman and despite being surrounded by hundreds of people, he still spent up to ten minutes standing talking to me. The photograph I had taken with him that day is my most prized possession.
If his engaging personality and stories from his playing career were not enough to talk about during the dinner party, it would be fascinating to hear the real story about the current financial problems at Rangers.
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a massive wrestling fan. It is something that I have watched since the age of 6 with my granddad. I have always been in awe of the athleticism, story-telling and atmosphere that surrounds it.
One of the main reasons why wrestling is so popular today is because of the contribution of Vince McMahon. As chairman of WWE, he took a small wrestling operation in the north east of America and turned it into a worldwide entertainment conglomerit making himself a billionaire in the process.
I would love the opportunity to discuss the finer points of wrestling with him around the dinner table and to discover what it takes to run a wrestling company. Though, most importantly I would be desperate to question him on some of the key decisions he has made over the years and what motivates and drives him to be so successful.
It had been my intention when putting this list together to only include people who were living. Though, I had to make an exception for Michael Jackson. Apart from being my favourite musician, the dinner party would be a great opportunity to find out what he was really like as a person. It would be interesting to gain an insight into what everyday life for him involved and how he overcame the intense media scrutiny to produce such an incredible and inspiring music.
I thought that it would be unfair to have a dinner party that only consisted of men, so I decided to add a touch of glamour with the actress Maggie Gyllenhaal. Over the years, I have greatly admired the diversity of her work. She has managed to find the balance between roles in big budget films like The Dark Knight and smaller independent films such as Sherrybaby.
Though, as well as admiring her talents as an actress, she is also incredibly attractive and someone I’ve had a crush on for many years. The perfect combination of brains, beauty and personality, she would be a great dinner party companion.