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Michael Gove late for BBC Radio after being stuck in lift for half an hour

The cabinet minister joked that the incident could be source material for W1A, the BBC’s self-parody TV series.

Michael Gove
Published: Monday, 10th January 2022 at 10:43 am

Michael Gove missed a slot on Radio 4’s Today programme after getting stuck in a BBC lift at New Broadcasting House for around half an hour.

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The cabinet minister had been due to appear on Monday’s show at 8:10am but was noticeably absent from the programme.

Explaining the mishap, Today presenter Nick Robinson told BBC listeners: “We were hoping to talk to Michael Gove. You might have been hoping to hear from Michael Gove at this time. He'd 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. It is not very funny for Mr Gove and a security man who have been stuck there for some time.”

He added that Gove was “keeping cheerful” and that he hoped he would be freed from the lift so that we could “hear from him a little bit later in the programme".

The Cabinet minister eventually arrived for his slot at around 8:30am, joking: “After more than half an hour in the lift you successfully levelled me up.”

Accepting Robinson’s apology on behalf of the BBC for the delay, he added: "I completely understand. These sorts of things happen."

He then joked that the incident could be source material for W1A, the BBC’s self-parody TV series.

Gove later revealed that he had contacted the BBC chair, Richard Sharp, in order to be freed from the lift.

Talking on LBC, he explained: “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.”

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He added that he had come to the conclusion that it was “very good advice from both a health and a safety point of view” to take the stairs on his way out.

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