YOU know the drill. Sunday morning, politics shows … ah, but hang on, if it isn’t our old friend, “except for viewers in Scotland”.

Too bad if you turned on BBC One at 10am expecting to see Gordon Brewer putting a Scottish Government Minister through their paces. Courtesy of the London Marathon, we had to wait another couple of hours for that.

The Andrew Marr Show had not been moved. Ditto Sky News’ Ridge on Sunday. Given coverage of the marathon had begun at 7am on BBC2, and could be seen live on the iPlayer, you might have thought the BBC schedulers could have waited another half hour to air Politics Scotland as usual. But it was not to be.

One reason for Marr staying put was his interview with Boris Johnson. This being the week of the Conservative Party conference, such a sit-down might have been considered routine.

But there are few things that can be taken for granted at the moment, the Prime Minister offering himself for a live interview being one of them.

Given the continuing coronavirus crisis, murmurings on the backbenches about his leadership and health, and the hospitalisation of the US President, this was the interview everyone wanted.

Ridge on Sunday was not giving up that easily, however. Taking advantage of the show’s 08.30 start time, Ridge led on Donald Trump, speaking to Sir Christopher Meyer, former British ambassador to the US, and Nigel Farage, described by the presenter as “possibly the man in Britain who knows the President best”.

The question doing the rounds since news broke of Mr Trump testing positive for coronavirus is whether this could help or hinder his fight for re-election.

Mr Meyer thought if the President emerged in good shape he would try to turn it to his advantage.

Mr Farage said critics wrote off Mr Trump four years ago after the leak of the Access Hollywood tapes in which he made vulgar comments about women. Instead, said the Brexit Party leader, candidate Trump became “the Harry Houdini of politics” and came back to win.

Over on The Andrew Marr Show, the presenter spoke to Jon Sopel, the corporation’s North America editor. Sopel sketched an alternative to the bounce back scenario.

“Over the past 24-48 hours, we have discovered that at the White House last weekend, when the President was introducing his new pick for the Supreme Court, we’ve had three senators go down with coronavirus, the former governor Chris Christie, who is now in hospital, his former aide, Kellyanne Conway, the list goes on and on.

“[This] is not a meat packing plant in South Dakota. This is the White House, meant to be the safest place in the world, and because they were so lax over conduct you’ve had a super spreader event at the White House.

“Now, is that a good advert for how the President has handled coronavirus?”

On to what should have been the main event of the day, Marr’s studio sit down with the Prime Minister. Mr Johnson came bearing some newly fashioned advice: people should “act fearlessly but with common sense” in the face of the virus. Given the criticism that the Government’s guidance was confusing and inconsistent, “act fearlessly” sounded as baffling as “stay alert”.

In common with many other interviewers, Marr had trouble trying to stem the tide of prime ministerial loquaciousness. After going through the obvious list of questions, Marr took a more personal tack to close.

Eight years ago he had a stroke, he reminded the Prime Minister and viewers. He came back to work relatively quickly and was surprised at the “real fatigue” he continued to suffer for a long time afterwards.

“It was a serious insult to the body and there is always a response to that. You’ve had coronavirus, have you suffered anything like that?”

No, said the Prime Minister, going on to describe anonymous briefings that he had not fully recovered from the virus as “drivel”.

It was very important to the country to know that the Prime Minister was up to the job, Marr insisted.

“It’s anthropologically crucial!” said Mr Johnson, pronouncing himself fitter than several butchers’ dogs.

Marr still wasn’t done. “If you found that long Covid caught up with you as it does for many people would you be straight with the British people, tell them, and stand down?”

The PM did not answer, preferring to talk about his weight problem and how that had made the condition worse. “You don’t have to worry about it, Andrew,” he said to the whippet-like Marr.

Marr’s programme had run over time, forcing the London Marathon team to wait a couple of minutes. A relative sprint compared to the three hour delay to Politics Scotland. You could have run a marathon in that time. Some did.