He generally responded to questions with an economy bordering on irascibility. One audience member asked one of those long, self important questions which was really a lengthy assertion of their own cleverness followed by the preposterous enquiry "Of the tens of thousands of facts in your book, how many would you stand up for in court and attest were definately true?"
"None." barked Peter and turned to the next questioner.
The interviewer had a bit more luck teasing information out and asked what we were all dying to know: "How on earth do you manage it?". (His output is prodigious and beginning to rival that of his literary hero Dickens: novels; biographies; the histories; poems; essays - he just keeps pouring them out). His response managed to be both simultaneously indignant and poignant:
"I haven't got anything else to do." he said and left it that.
He evidently has a taste for the macabre. His reading had all been about the gruesome crimes and punishments of the mediaeval period and he left us with some very entertaining and insightful thoughts on the recent London riots, slavery and celebrity TV historians. I thought at one point he almost came out as a potential cross-dresser.
A final question from the floor asked what sort of person London would be like if it had a being of its own - as seems to be implied by the title of his seminal work "London: a Biography". Whilst he was mulling this over, I looked around and guessed that a few of audience were probably thinking what I was thinking.
It would be like Peter Ackroyd.