Burnley footballer Clarke Carlisle has spoken of his delight after becoming the first ever professional footballer to appear on Question Time.
Carlisle, who is chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association considered his position on the panel as representative of the common man but admitted that he had stepped out of his comfort zone to talk through the issues of the day with fellow guests, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman, Deputy Liberal Democrat Leader Simon Hughes, former MP George Galloway and former Labour Spin Doctor Alastair Campbell as well as host David Dimbleby.
“It was tough, it really was, talk about being out of your comfort zone I’ve got a new found respect for politicians because they do come in for some severe grilling,” said Carlisle.
He continued, “Whether you agree or disagree with their comments or political ideologies they are the ones that stand up there to be shot at on a daily basis and the work they do is outstanding really. It was real eye opener seeing it at first hand as a neutral observer.”
Far from being overawed however Carlisle was also pleased to have the opportunity to contribute his own views to the political debate show.
“I was conscious that I’m not doing what they (politicians) do on a daily basis but for me it was about putting across my personal views and trying to be representative of the layman.”
“I’m not a politics buff by any stretch of the imagination and the recall that those guys had around the facts and figures was astonishing but I do take a keen interest in things.”
“I’ve got a young wife and family and the issues that were discussed touched upon many of the things that effect us as a family,” he added.