Like almost 10 million other UK citizens I watched Brown, Cameron and Clegg respond unscripted to questions posed by potential viewers in a Manchester TV studio.
Many had predicted that the 76 'rules' that were being invoked would mean that the debate would be boring, for me this was not the case and the 90 minutes mediated by a largely unseen Alistair Stewart was almost compelling.
How much of a paradigm change it wil invoke remains to be seen but the immediate jump in Cleggs popularity is in itself an indicator that things will not be the same - I did anticipate that the Lib Dems would be the big winners just by the fact that they are being treated as equals (whiuch they have not been in recent times) they also have a very big advantage in being able to blame the labour and conservatives for all recent woes.
I don't expect the audiences or reactions will be so great to the next two debates (particularly as one is on Sky News).
Let's see how the 2 majors (labour and tories) cosy up to the cleggies in the next 3 weeks.