On bowing out of the regular slot, Gary Barker shares with us some of the feelings of a weekly call to the brush and pen...
For me, those lucky enough to be involved in political cartooning are blessed, in that we get to have the say denied to so many others.
The cathartic effect of producing weekly jabs at the political elite has meant that since I've been cartooning I've not had to shoot one single TV.
Even the challenges are a joy.
But by far the greatest has come from the fact the cartoon is weekly, meaning I have to come up with an idea that will be relevant to the political machinations of the following week.
Chatting to cartoonists who work on the dailies, they say they struggle for something that will be relevant over-night and so consider coming up with something apposite for the next week nigh on impossible.
Creating work so far in advance also means the central premise of the illustration might not always be as incisive as it might otherwise be, as my resultant work is usually based around a central issue, rather than a single eye-catching incident.
The blight of all political cartoonists is the face we just can't seem to nail, the visage that makes ordinary look unusual: Mr Bland.
There is currently one very prominent politician in particular I'm thinking of, but there is consolation in knowing everyone else is obviously struggling with him too.
But all this comes with the territory and nothing can match the particular pleasure in watching the face of a politician live on the programme, knowing there is a good chance they have just seen my dig at them and I have possibly just irked them (even if only a little and only momentarily).