Alastair Campbell: So the fearless inquisitor gave Clinton a kicking? Don't make me laugh

MY WEEK

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Monday: I hate Mondays because I'm in training for the London Triathlon to raise money for Leukaemia Research and Monday means an 1,800m swim, and though I've learned to do crawl, I'll never learn to love the water. Then to Wimbledon for my Times series on all-time greats. Martina Navratilova was very friendly in our brief meeting and had obviously forgotten the last one, when I was a Mirror reporter and she called me scum. I bumped into shadow sports minister Julie Kirkbride, who reminded me that the last time we met at Wimbledon I went home via Channel 4 to do an impromptu interview. She was in very chirpy form. So was I when she said it was obvious that so long as Tony was Labour leader, the Tories had no chance. Very wise, dear. Home to watch England vs Croatia and listen to more OTT Rooney-Pelé comparisons.

Monday: I hate Mondays because I'm in training for the London Triathlon to raise money for Leukaemia Research and Monday means an 1,800m swim, and though I've learned to do crawl, I'll never learn to love the water. Then to Wimbledon for my Times series on all-time greats. Martina Navratilova was very friendly in our brief meeting and had obviously forgotten the last one, when I was a Mirror reporter and she called me scum. I bumped into shadow sports minister Julie Kirkbride, who reminded me that the last time we met at Wimbledon I went home via Channel 4 to do an impromptu interview. She was in very chirpy form. So was I when she said it was obvious that so long as Tony was Labour leader, the Tories had no chance. Very wise, dear. Home to watch England vs Croatia and listen to more OTT Rooney-Pelé comparisons.

Tuesday: I went for a run early and Hampstead Heath was looking great, but after 40 minutes hay fever had turned to asthma and I had to abort. My running has gone to pot since taking up the triathlon - another reason to hate swimming. I loved running when I was doing it every day.

I had to - OK I was paid to - present the Lawyer of the Year awards, including one to James Dingemans. I felt less nervous than the last time I met him, under cross-examination at the Hutton inquiry. There were 1,500 legal types there and it was less Tory and more fun than I feared. The jokes went down well but I also made the serious point that if the modern media carries on as it is, good people will be deterred from going into politics. I was surprised, and pleased, at the warm applause which greeted my observation "find me a lawyer capable of a short speech and I'll find you a Mail journalist capable of telling the truth".

Wednesday: I got my copy of the Clinton book and watched a tape of his interview with David Dimbleby. The BBC spin machine had cranked it up as a great moment for the fearless inquisitor, but Clinton made Dimbleby look shallow and downmarket, and was spot-on in his condemnation of the media's lack of interest in how policy affects real people, alongside an obsession with stories that damage politicians. I viewed the edit of my interview with Lance Armstrong which kicks off my Channel Five series on Friday. He is particularly strong talking about his fight with cancer, and his obsessiveness. For reasons of length we lost a nice section on politics. The Texan cyclist is anti-war, pro-choice, anti-guns, pro-higher tax, basically a Democrat who likes Bush. I got home to watch another win by the Czech Republic, the team I tipped in The Times to win Euro 2004. I also watched the news for the first time all week. It's great to see the debate back on public services. If Howard thinks that that's his territory, he is as foolish as Ms Kirkbride is wise.

Fox TV want an interview because they are doing a piece on the "audience with" idea, old-fashioned public meetings in which people talk and then take questions. Fox say they want to contrast Paul Burrell - apparently a flop - with me - allegedly a success. I decline on the grounds that I'm not sure Fox will get any bums on seats in High Wycombe or Broxbourne. Also, though the Festival Hall and the Old Vic and some other dates sold out, not all my regional dates have been packed out. But my sister, who went to the packed Festival Hall and later took my elderly mum to the more intimate King's Lynn, preferred the smaller audience. My daughter came too and was most amused by the anti-war protesters selling tins of "Campbell's bullshit soup" outside. I like protesters who show wit. It's the humourless ones with bad skin and starey eyes I can't stand.

Thursday: All day out with the TV people, including filming for the 15-second opening titles. The producer said it would look "gorgeous" but I can't quite see why it requires several hours walking by a railway line. Bloody artists. Home to watch Portugal vs England. I've developed the triathlete's habit of constantly checking pulse rate and mine was soaring during the penalties. The players I felt most sorry for were Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell, because they played out of their skins. I thought Motty and Co missed one of the great talking points of the night, the fact that Ricardo discarded his gloves for the penalty shoot-out. That being said I still think Motty is streets ahead of the rest as a big-game commentator. I've caught a couple of games on radio while travelling and I have joined the fairly sizeable "can't bear Alan Green" club. I want a commentator to tell me what is happening, not stuff his opinions down my ear hole. Fusion of news and comment - now sport gets the bug.

Friday: The Sun wants a piece on Armstrong, so I work on that for a bit before going for my long bike ride of the week, two hours plus. Armstrong started out as a triathlete and when we met for the Five interview I asked for advice. "Don't drown," he said, "because if you drown you won't be able to do the bike or run." Very handy advice. Then to a fund-raising barbecue at my daughter's primary school. We have had a child in the school for 13 years now and it's never been in better shape, not least because my partner Fiona is chairwoman of governors. But above all it's because we are blessed with a wonderful head, Alan Seymour. Good head, good school. Good formula.

Saturday: We're up to 125 people in my Leukaemia Research triathlon team and some of us had a training day in Esher, where experts told us how terrifying it is going to be. It is amazing what help people will give to a good cause. Dairycrest has laid on the facilities and the triathlon specialists Triandrun have given me a bike to replace the one some oik nicked. And a hypnotist cum psychological motivator whose son has had leukaemia is offering his services to the team. Some have experienced open-water swimming for the first time. Suddenly Armstrong's advice didn't look quite so bonkers.

Alastair Campbell interviews Lance Armstrong on Five on Friday at 8.30pm. His next 'Audiences with Alastair Campbell' are at Broxbourne (01992 414946) on 1 July and High Wycombe (01494 512000) on 8 July. Anyone wishing to sponsor him in the London Triathlon can do so at www.alastaircampbell.org.uk. That's enough plugs - AC

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