THE tribes of Westminster are not by nature nomadic. They move short distances between parliament, media HQ at Millbank, and a circuit of restaurants as need dictates. But once a year, come annual conference time, the caravans hit the road. Last week it was Bournemouth for the Liberal Democrats, this week Labour is in Brighton.

The change of location ought to be a boon for the Sunday shows. No more studio bound interviews across a desk; begone the politician standing in front of a bog standard garden trellis. But going out of a controlled environment has its risks, as The Andrew Marr Show demonstrated.

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Marr is a “big window” show, the window in question containing a live shot of the Thames. Through it we can see the subdued bustle of a Sunday morning in London, trains going to and from Waterloo, boats chugging through the water at sightseeing speed. There is no sound, because that would interfere with what is being said, which is, after all, why we are all here on a Sunday morning.

Marr took the window idea to Brighton, which seemed at first like a smart move. We could see a pier, lots of expensive flats along the waterside (a local estate agent was selling a three bedroom for a mere £1.4 million), and a beach complete with strollers and joggers. The problem was what we could hear. Ladies and gentlemen, all the way from London, it was the artist known as Shouting Man.

Shouting Man, with his trademark “Stop Brexit” bellow, can be heard in the background to almost every interview on Westminster’s College Green. He is not the same as Glockenspiel Man, Liberty Bell Man, Drum Man, or any of the other characters who like to express their political opinions through the medium of music.

Shouting Man gave viewers a brief burst from his limited repertoire, then went quiet for a bit. He might have been having a cup of tea and a bacon roll, he could have been doing an interview (such is media desperation to find new things about Brexit to cover, Shouting Man has become something of a minor celeb), or a researcher had popped down to plead with him. But soon he was back, in full flow. Marr and Corbyn were determined to ignore him, but it was a struggle, for them as much for the viewer.

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Marr ploughed on, asking the Labour leader about attempts to oust Tom Watson as his deputy. Corbyn said he knew there were to be discussions but was not aware a motion was being put forward. “I’m not all seeing and all knowing. I’d love to be.”

What about the departure of a key aide, Andrew Fisher, as reported in the Sunday Times? He was said to have walked out claiming Corbyn could not win a General Election, and accusing his leadership team of a “lack of professionalism, competence and decency.” That was all fine, too, said Corbyn. Why, they had enjoyed a cup of coffee together that morning. He even tried a joke, saying of Mr Fisher: “We do frequently argue ... about football. He supports Spurs.” Stand-ups everywhere relax: you are never going to lose a gig to Jezza the Joker.

Attempts were made to discover which side Mr Corbyn would be on in any referendum on a Labour-negotiated Brexit deal, all to no avail. As for his staying a full term as PM, the answer was a spirited “of course.”

Ridge on Sunday opted to set up shop in the exhibitors section of The Brighton Centre. Nestled next to the information counter and a Labour Party merchandise stall. Passersby stopped now and then for a look before wandering off. Unlike with Marr, the setting added atmosphere without interruption.

Ridge went for variety over big names, with a line-up that included Unite general secretary Len McCluskey, who dismissed as “fake news” claims that he had been behind efforts to ousts Tom Watson. To make up for the Corbyn-sized hole in the show, Ridge had been busy elsewhere in the week, bagging interviews with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and the previously shy and retiring David Cameron who, now he has his memoirs to flog, is everywhere.

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On the former PM asking for the Queen’s support during the Scottish independence referendum campaign, he replied: “I’ve said all I want to say so you can ask me questions but I’m going to say very, very little.” Ridge reminded him that he had spoken about his conversations with the Queen on not one but two occasions. First, when he was overheard saying the monarch “purred” on learning No had won, and second in a BBC documentary when he had asked the Palace if she could give some sort of indication, half an eyebrow raise, to indicate her support for Scotland staying in the Union.

Any conversation on the latter was not with the Queen, said Mr Cameron, but between his aides and her aides. Ridge gamely battled on.

“Alex Salmond was saying that Her Majesty would be the proud monarch of an independent Scotland,” conceded Mr Cameron. “There was a frustration in my team and that’s why the conversations between one set of aides and another set of aides took place. But that’s it. I don’t want to say any more because I don’t want to make the situation worse than it is.”

Out of the window we could see the London cityscape. A more fitting shot might have been of a bolting horse leaving a now locked stable far behind.