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Meet the team

If you can name another show where a Rolling Stone chats with a member of the Privy Council, we'd like to hear about it!

Our team of Andrew, Diane and Michael are here every Thursday evening, bringing you a look back at the week - one you simply won't get anywhere else. Meet the team.

ANDREW NEIL
Dein host

Andrew Neil

Born in Paisley in 1949, Andrew worked for the Conservative Party as a housing policy adviser and for The Economist as a correspondent before a 1980s that saw him editing the Sunday Times and helping to launch Sky TV.

He has also been UK editor of the Economist, executive editor of Fox Television News of America and Chief Executive of The Spectator. He still finds the time to present a range of BBC current affairs programmes, including The Daily Politics and This Week.

In Who's Who, he lists his recreations as dining out in London, New York, the south of France and Aspen.

But he's also been known to snack on a BBC sandwich before the show begins at 2335.

DIANE ABBOTT
Itchy... or is she Scratchy?

Diane Abbott

Born in London in 1953, the daughter of a Jamaican welder and a nurse, Diane was Britain's first black woman MP. She worked at the Home Office, the National Council for Civil Liberties and Thames TV before entering Parliament as a Labour MP at the 1987 general election.

She became known as a feisty firebrand, and lit up the Commons Treasury select committee with her relentless questioning.

Her straight manner was never better expressed than in a comment to the then governor of the Bank of England, Sir Edward George: "You're just an inflation nutter, aren't you?"

She was one of the first Labour MPs openly to criticise Peter Mandelson, Tony Blair's close confidant, famously calling him a source of "poison" in the government. Diane isn't afraid to step out of party line and is a serial rebel against the government.

As a pupil at Harrow County Grammar School, Diane appeared as Lady Macduff in a performance that was notable for reasons that will become apparent if you read on...

MICHAEL PORTILLO
Scratchy... or is he Itchy?

Michael Portillo

Born in Bushey in 1953, Michael showed an early flair for the small screen when he appeared as a child in a TV ad for Ribena.

He found more stable work with the Ocean Transport & Trading Company, and joined the Conservative Research Department in 1976. He entered parliament in 1984, winning the Enfield Southgate by-election.

He worked in government as Minister of State for Transport and Chief Secretary to the Treasury, before first becoming Secretary of State for Employment and then Defence.

After losing his seat in 1997, Michael's TV work has been extensive and includes a programme on Spanish wildlife for The Natural World, the Queen Elizabeth episode of Great Britons and When Michael Portillo Became a Single Mum.

Michael returned to parliament in 2001 before standing down in 2005. He is a columnist for the Sunday Times.

And as a pupil at Harrow County Grammar School, Michael once appeared as Macduff... in the same production as Diane's Lady Macduff!

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