On Newsnight my phone rarely rings at 6.14am. But it did this morning. It was our deputy editor Robbie Gibb, who was looking after Gordon Brown: Prime Minister's Questions, a special programme for News24 and Newsnight in which the soon-to-be-PM was to face questions from a panel of the BBC's sharpest minds. Robbie was involved in a last minute flurry with Mr Brown's people over the exact seating arrangements for the programme, which - because of the EU summit - could only be recorded at eight in the morning. It was symptomatic of a process of negotiation to get Mr Brown onto the programme which was at times tortuous and always subject to change.
But when Mr Brown swept into the studio - at roughly twenty past eight - he was a vision of relaxedness. The make-up lady remarked how warm and chatty he was - more so in fact than Blair - his warm-up small talk was easy, his jokes surprisingly good.
And when the intense and wide-ranging grilling from Martha Kearney, Evan Davis, Nick Robinson, and John Simpson began, the old Brown, sticking rigidly to his sound bites, seemed to have disappeared. No prudence, no steering a steady course, not even much listening and learning.
Could it be that Mr Brown - famously uptight and brooding as Chancellor - will, like Nicolas Sarkozy, find the top job strangely relaxing?