It is Have I Got News for You and in the audience Euan Blair is watching me

Giving birth - the deep, tearing contractions and the eventual screaming, bloody act of creation - has ceased to terrify me. Nothing can be as disturbing as the prospect of appearing on Have I Got News for You.

On the night, I was shown to a pleasant dressing room at LWT, where I sat quietly memorising the week's main press stories and nervously devouring my solitary meal. After an hour's wait, I was called into the Green Room for a run-through on set with that terrifying trio, Hislop, Deayton and Merton. Merton was looking forlorn: "Hi Lauren, I'm Paul, got a bit of a dicky tummy tonight." The imp Hislop appeared underneath my elbow and began a very middle England tirade against Railtrack and the stresses of commuter life. As for Deayton, I was privy to his warm-up routine. He practises raising first one eyebrow, then the other, until he has achieved his trademark look of quizzical sarcasm for the camera.

Finally, I was on Have I Got News for You.

"On Ian's team is a journalist and broadcaster, determined to be known in her own right and not merely for her connections . . . Cherie Blair's sister, Lauren Booth," Deayton grinned. I waited tensely for the press cuttings accusing me of branding Cherie a "trophy wife" and of promoting smoking and drinking during pregnancy. There was none. Deayton teased me about my one-time role as sex agony aunt on a lad's mag. Paul Merton tittered when I accidentally referred to Sir George Young as an "ex-old Etonian", pointing out that this meant he was still at Eton, "surely?" The whole thing was as distressing as being tickled with a feather duster

The script and banter got my goat during the "odd one out" round. Geoffrey Robinson was among those found "guilty" of inviting the Blairs to stay at their holiday homes for free. Ian Hislop, next to me, shook his head in disgust; Merton (still tanned from a holiday in the Maldives) tutted; and Deayton made the family trips sound like crimes against humanity.

Over a glass of wine in the upstairs bar, I cornered Deayton and demanded to know whether he had ever stayed, free of charge, at a mate's holiday home. "Of course I have, Lauren," he smiled. "A friend has an Alpine chalet we visit every year. One of the other regulars on the show has a partner who writes travel pieces. So they never pay for a thing, either."

I mulled this over as my attention was drawn to a teenager with "boy band" locks, shuffling his feet and staring at the floor by my side. Angus continued: "But if you'd asked me, I'd have denied it all, naturally."

The boy stepped forward: "Hi, Lauren," he said shyly. It was Euan Blair. His mum had dropped him off so that he could watch one of his favourite shows being filmed. He'd been in the audience throughout.

For the next hour, he sipped iced soft drinks while Hislop and co entertained him with showbiz anecdotes and teased him about his alleged boozing. Euan was unfazed and polite throughout, even tolerating my lecture on coping with the tabloids: "Don't let them spoil your fun, go travelling as soon as possible and choose your girlfriends carefully."

As he said his goodbyes, half a dozen jokers clubbed together and shouted: "Going to catch last orders up West, eh Euan?" Suddenly, the identical expression of tired martyrdom appeared on his face that his father uses when answering a difficult question on Richard and Judy. Sighing bravely, he shrugged: "Yeah, good one, guys. Good night" - before getting the unprivatised last Tube home.