For some mysterious reason, it had to be conducted from a phone box on Blackpool's windswept seafront. Trying to concentrate on tricky questions from Today's finest, Mr B found himself distracted by the increasingly frantic gesticulations of a chap outside the phone box, clutching a wet cloth.
It transpired that the would-be intruder was a telephone sanitiser - on piece rates - whose wages depend on the five minutes he normally takes to complete the job. On this occasion it took 15, despite loudly doing the outside glasswork to a pitch of (literally) squeaky-cleanliness, clearly audible to millions of Radio 4 listeners. Had the worker recognised Mr Byers, he would no doubt have treated him to some trenchant views on the subject of the minimum wage.