The Prime Minister will remember 1 June 1996 forever

Now was the only women’s mag invited to join Prime Minister David Cameron, 45, on his visit to the troops in Afghanistan.

He may have regretted it when we started asking him aobut shopping and ‘date nights’.

Now Features Editor Kate Taylor quizzed the PM…

How was it meeting the female troops here?

They do a fantastic job.

It’s become much more common for women to serve at higher levels in the armed services, which I think is brilliant, and people are getting more comfortable about it.

Military women now get awards for the highest levels of valour and that’s the way it should be.

How would you cope if your wife Samantha had that kind of role?

Well, she didn’t travel as much as being in the armed services, but when she was design director at Smythson and I was an MP, sometimes she’d go off to NY for five days and I was left looking after the little ones, so it has happened.

The children wouldn’t starve or anything; the food was OK – I’m a reasonable cook – and they’d get to school on time, but I’m afraid the house would quite rapidly deteriorate.

I’m not as good about tidying up as you go along as my wife is.

What if your daughters Nancy [who turns eight this week] and Florence [17 months] said to you when they’re older: ‘Dad, I want to serve in the armed forces’?

I’d be delighted.

Like any parent, I’d be nervous and worried about what they were doing, but I’ve spent a day here in Kandahar and met women who are specialists at imaging, fantastic at logistics, engineers – it’s not as if the army, navy and airforce are simply about fighting.

You get an enormous amount of skills and training and a brilliant career.

We’ve been looking at how the servicewomen spend their downtime after a stressful day job – how do you relax?

I watch telly.

I read so much printed matter at work that I find I’m not reading as many books as I used to.

I’m watching The Killing series two on iPlayer, which I love, but I’ll watch everything from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to documentaries.

I’m trying to get the children to watch nature programmes instead of something like SpongeBob – I can’t bear SpongeBob – so I’ve got them into Frozen Planet.

Watching that’s good for the karma.

The girls serving here miss their beauty products – what’s your grooming regime?

[Laughs] Listen, I don’t have any beauty products I’d miss when I’m away!

I just like a hot shower.

That’s the only thing I’d miss.

OK, but clearly in your job it’s important to look your best – would you ever borrow Sam’s powder to cover up a spot?

[Laughs] I have never borrowed Samantha‘s powder – I can put my hand on my heart and say that! But when you go into a TV studio, some absolutely cover you in orange powder.

I’ve forgotten to take it off before and gone home and Nancy’s said: ‘Daddy, why are you wearing make-up?’ and I’ve had to explain.

Do you buy your own clothes?

If standing in the changing room at Gap while being passed clothes selected by Mrs Cameron counts, then yes, I do…

So it’s Valentine’s Day soon – are you romantic?

I am.

The great thing about Valentine’s Day is it’s also my son Arthur’s birthday [he’ll be six this year] so I have a second reason for remembering it.

My wife and I always try to do something but occasionally we haven’t booked a restaurant early enough.

I’m sure that’s something lots of people experience.

Do you still have ‘date nights’?

We have one night every week where we either stay in and do nothing or go out on our own.

We have a couple of favourite Italian restaurants in north Kensington, but I can’t tell you about them…

Of course, for security reasons…

No, worse – I once named my favourite Spanish restaurant and a newspaper went there and said the food tasted like boiled sawdust or something and totally trashed it, so I don’t want to risk it!

[His PR asks how much more we’ve got to ask – D-Cam says: ‘No it’s fine, I’m enjoying this!’]

When did you last cry?

Um… I’ve had quite a few bereavements in the family recently so, er, not that long ago…

Your dad? [His father died in September after a stroke]

Next question.

OK, what are your New Year’s resolutions?

Probably to lose a bit of weight, I think!

That’s the key one for me.

Finally, you’re here for just 24 hours – what’s been the most memorable 24 hours of your life?

Probably getting married and the first night of my honeymoon.

I can still remember pretty much minute by minute…

That’s too much information!

OK, well, hour by hour! That would be the one for me, I think.

Read the full interview with David Cameron in the latest issue of Now magazine dated 23 January – out now!