Yesterday I did a double appearance on the BBC News Channel which, I hope, to the outside world appeared normal, calm and on time. Behind the scenes, however, things didn’t quite go to plan…
It started off with one minicab arriving to pick me up in the wrong borough. The second turned up in the right borough and was promisingly driving towards me as I stood on the pavement waiting its arrival. Alas, it then carried on straight past me and round the corner, resulting in a brief West End farce moment as I headed off after it round the corner, and the minicab, going faster than me, circled the block and came up behind me.
Then breaking news both from a horrific court trial in Liverpool and also the appearance of Cameron and Clegg at a tractor factory (no jokes about Communism and production figures please) meant an extended wait between my two appearances. The wait was enlivened by Sophie Long supplying chocolate (she knows me too well!) and some back chat which I had better not repeat if I want to be allowed near the BBC again…
The wait reminded me of one previous wait, when an appearance of mine was delayed by breaking news from America.
So instead of going to me in the Millbank BBC cupboard studio,* the BBC went to Barack Obama speaking live at a press conference. Once he had finished his remarks the BBC came to me.
Technically, therefore, President Barack Obama was my warm up man. Which was nice of him.
* You can find out more about how much of rolling news is filmed in cupboards in my book, Bad News.