While I enjoy making trips to London for big shows or exhibitions, there's something very special about seeing familiar faces or meeting skilled creative people in your own local community.

This weekend I enjoyed hearing chat show host and presenter Clive Andersonspeak at Aldeburgh and I toured artists' homes through the Suffolk Open Studios initiative in Woodbridge.

Seeing beautiful pieces of art, whether paintings, sculpture or pottery, was very energising and uplifting. It was also inspiring to see how these skilled and gifted people chose to shape their lives and lifestyles around their creativity, seeking to overcome the challenges we all face, particularly in terms of time and money, to express themselves and fulfil their passion.

And Clive Anderson, known for his self-deprecation and mocking manner, was also enlightening as he reviewed his on-screen disasters. Despite always preparing his interviews meticulously, his brief for his tv programmes was always to get a laugh, he said, but the interviewee wasn't always willing to participate in this intent. As a result the Bee Gees walked off mid conversation and Richard Branson poured a glass of water over Clive's head.

Though I'm hoping there won't be any such incidents when Reverend Richard Coles talks to me on stage at the Riverside in a few weeks' time, it is sure to be a memorable occasion in other ways, so I hope you'll be able to join us. Tickets are selling well, so don't delay if you want to get a good seat! 

Thank you for reading.