Twitter was all of a flutter, hopes were high of a record audience, and BBC execs had everything crossed except their eyes. And all because a woman presented a television show.

Not just any show, mind. After the first woman prime minister and the first female Doctor Who, the permanent host slot on Question Time was the third citadel on the “to be stormed” list.

So how did Fiona Bruce do? She was not openly combative, like the show’s first host, Robin Day; there was no Peter Sissons-style edginess or Dimbleby clubbability.

Cool, informed, and in command, Bruce was the Daily Mail where her predecessors had been the Telegraph. There was never any danger of her having to take the advice of her kingly namesake and try, try and try again to get this right. She has, after all, been doing this broadcasting lark for almost 30 years.

That said, she has yet to settle on a QT tone of her own. At times, head cocked and smiling broadly, she could have been admiring a Victorian teapot on the Antiques Roadshow rather than extracting answers from politicians on a no deal Brexit.

She was at her best when she adopted a mix of Paxman and pussycat, as with James Cleverly MP, deputy chair of the Conservative party. “James,” she purred, “if this is being in control of the Brexit process, what does not being in control look like?” The Islington audience liked that.

After reminding Melanie Phillips that she had once touted Nigel Farage as PM, Bruce asked the columnist sweetly if that had been “a moment of madness”. Oo-er. When Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry tried to argue that Labour’s EU policy was coherent, Bruce butted in. “Look at the reaction you are getting, Emily. People are laughing.”

Occasionally, when trying to impose control, Bruce tipped over into head girl territory. She will have to watch that. What plays well in Middle England is likely to grate elsewhere.

The test passed, Bruce signed off. Next up was Andrew Neil with This Week. Normal white male service was resumed.