10 January 2022

Michael Gove trapped in BBC lift for half an hour before appearing on Today programme

10 January 2022

Michael Gove’s efforts to “level up” hit a snag after he was trapped in a BBC lift for more than 30 minutes.

The Levelling Up Secretary joked after being released from the lift that the incident may have provided inspiration for a new episode of the BBC-based satire W1A.

His appearance on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme was delayed as a result of the mishap at Broadcasting House.

Michael Gove said he suspected some people might have hoped he would be trapped in the lift for longer (James Manning/PA) (PA Wire)

Mr Gove told the programme: “After more than half an hour in the lift, you successfully levelled me up, so I’m delighted to be here.”

He acknowledged “these sorts of things happen, and if you and I together have given ammunition for (Thick Of It creator) Armando Iannucci or for the next episode of W1A, then fine.”

Told by presenter Nick Robinson that a “free Michael Gove” hashtag was circulating on social media, Mr Gove said: “I suspect there were rather more people hoping I would be incarcerated for longer.”

Earlier, Robinson had told listeners: “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.”

The presenter suggested it was proof that “W1A is not, in fact, a satirical programme”.

Mr Gove had been touring broadcast studios to talk about the action he is taking to tackle the cladding scandal.

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