Michael Gove managed to see the funny side today after spending more than half an hour stuck in a lift at the BBC during a round of interviews.
The Levelling Up Secretary joked that many people wanted him ‘incarcerated’ for longer after finally being freed at the corporation’s studios.
Mr Gove was due to appear on the key 8.10 am slot on Radio 4’s Today programme, but the presenters revealed he had been held up by the equipment failure.
BBC staff tweeted photographs of the unfortunate situation and likened it to a scene out of sitcom W1A.
‘After more than half an hour in the lift you have successfully levelled me up,’ Mr Gove quipped when he eventually made it on air.
BBC staff tweeted photographs of the unfortunate situation and likened it to a scene out of sitcom W1A
Mr Gove in the middle of a round of broadcast interviews when he was held up by the equipment failure
Earlier, Today programme host Nick Robinson told listeners: ‘We’ve had breaking news this morning that W1A is not in fact a satirical programme, because we were hoping to talk to Michael Gove – you might have been hoping to hear from Michael Gove at this time.
‘He had very kindly come into the building so we didn’t have to deal with one of those awkward line failures.
‘Mr Gove is stuck in the Broadcasting House lift. I wish I could say this is a joke, it is not a joke and it is not very funny for Mr Gove and the security man, who have been stuck there for some time.’
But Robinson said Mr Gove had been ‘keeping cheerful’.
When he emerged, Mr Gove said: ‘These sorts of things happen, and if you and I together have given ammunition for Armando Iannucci or for the next episode of W1A, then fine.’
Told that the hashtag #FreeMichaelGove had been started on Twitter, the Cabinet minister said he suspected there are ‘rather more people’ who feel he should be ‘incarcerated for longer’.
Mr Gove later revealed he had texted BBC chairman Richard Sharp in order to be freed from the lift.
Speaking on LBC, Mr Gove said: ‘I’m talking to you from BBC New Broadcasting House but in a scene, perhaps, I think more appropriate for The Thick Of It or W1A, I was trapped in a BBC lift for half an hour between 7.45 and 8.15.
‘But, thanks to the good offices of the Today programme, and also thanks to my texting the BBC chairman, I was liberated.’
He added: ‘He made sure that a crack engineering team were dispatched. As someone pointed out, even though we had to wait half an hour, eventually I was levelled up.’
He said it was ‘very good advice from both a health and a safety point of view’ to take the stairs out of the building.