Health secretary Andrew Lansley reveals Norfolk secret during Any Questions at Aylsham

More than 300 people - plus hundreds of thousands of radio listeners - heard a secret as health secretary Andrew Lansley told of his former love in Aylsham.

Speaking during the warm up before the live broadcast of Radio Four's Any Questions at the Jubilee Centre last night, Mr Lansley said he used to visit his girlfriend in the town while he was at university.

He also revealed that he used to cycle from Aylsham to work at the HP Smedley canning factory at North Walsham.

The secret emerged as the panellists - also including former Labour cabinet minister Margaret Hodge, ResPublica think tank director Phillip Blond and Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the Royal Society for the encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce - were asked what they thought constituted 'normal for Norfolk'.

Mrs Hodge opted for the 'skies', Mr Blond said 'a deep, fabulous commitment to local society', while Mr Taylor said 'deep anger' at the level of local government cuts.


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The show's host Jonathan Dimbleby took a series of questions from members of the public.

John Longhurst asked whether the prime minister should have 'given more attention to the people stranded in Libya, rather than leading an arms delegation to the Middle East'.

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Mrs Hodge said he should, and added: 'I couldn't work out whether he was naive, arrogant or just plain stupid in taking the wrong people to the wrong place at the wrong time'.

Mr Lansley said David Cameron's trip was a 'trade delegation', and said the prime minister was 'always on duty and in touch'.

Other questions included whether the government was 'reckless' to scrap the Ark Royal aircraft carrier and Harrier jump jets, and a query about what people would gain from the planned changes to the NHS.

After some fierce debate, particularly between Mr Lansley and Mrs Hodge, the panellists were asked what wedding present they would buy for Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Mrs Hodge said 'lots of baby clothes, as I want them to have lots of babies', while Mr Taylor said 'an extremely good spin doctor'.

? The show will be repeated today on Radio Four at 1.10pm.

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