Brucie was one step ahead at the Beeb

Those of you out there who, besides Gordon Brown, are pleased the PM decided not to call an election, please raise your hands!

Had it been 1 November ‒ the date many in the Westminster village had predicted ‒ it could have caused BBC boffins and forward-planners an enormous headache.

Apparently, that’s the night the studio where the election coverage was to have taken place had already been booked for Strictly Come Dancing.

“Those who do that show were refusing to use another studio,” says my informer, “so even before the election was called there were discussions and arguments about who might win over the day ‒ the ballroom types or the political nerds.”

James Stephenson, though, is breathing a sigh of relief. He had been designated to take over as bureau chief in Jerusalem and thought he would have to postpone his move ‒ but it’s all going ahead as planned. I imagine he’ll have a more interesting time in the Middle East.

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