DID you hear it? The sound of scripts being torn up across the Sunday politics shows, expletives uttered and the pitter-patter of not so tiny feet as producers ran towards hastily-convened editorial meetings? Rishi Sunak was the cause.

You had to hand it to the Prime Minister. The media had spent the week asking if he was too managerial, risk-averse, boring even, to lead the Tories into the next election.

Now here he was, apparently catching everyone on the hop by sacking Nadhim Zahawi, his party chairman, just as BBC1’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg came on air at 9am.

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Half an hour before, Sky News’ Ridge on Sunday showed an interview with Michael Gove, Levelling Up Secretary, that had been recorded earlier. Ridge asked about the inquiry into Mr Zahawi’s tax dealings and whether he had broken the ministerial code. “Can you tell us when we should expect that report, is it next week?”

“I don’t know,” replied Mr Gove.

If Mr Zahawi was found to have broken the ministerial code, should he resign?

“It’s up to the Prime Minister in possession of the full facts,” said Mr Gove. He knew it was “journalism 101” to try to pre-empt an announcement, but once an inquiry had been set up due process had to follow.

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Minutes later, BBC1’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg went on air. In her intro the presenter asked: “We have one big question this morning. After months of industrial action when will the strikes finally end?”

The theme music had just started when Kuenssberg broke in to say Mr Zahawi had been sacked.

It is at moments like these that broadcast journalists either sink or swim. Kuenssberg made like the proverbial swan, all systems kicking in below the water while remaining the picture of serenity above.

She updated the story as it unfolded, reading from her phone rather than wait for an updated autocue. The muscle memory from long days as political editor, keeping up with breaking news stories live on air, made itself felt.

On Sky News, Ridge and her team, though they might have been furious at just missing the story, soon righted themselves.

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By the time BBC Scotland’s The Sunday Show went on air it had been an hour since the story broke. Top pf the running order was Craig Hoy MSP, chairman of the Scottish Conservatives, who praised the Prime Minister for “acting decisively”.

The Zahawi sacking and the Hoy interview took up most of the programme, with the rest given over to the row between councils and the Scottish Government over spending cuts.

As laudable as it was to see the broadcasters roll with the punches of breaking news, should they have been so quick to let the Zahawi story take over?

Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, thought not. He was on Ridge on Sunday to talk about the poor performance of Avanti West Coast Trains, but other events intervened. He said it was typical of the way “Westminster’s concocted mess” drew attention away from matters that genuinely affected people’s lives.

In Scotland, social media heard from those expecting the main item on the BBC's The Sunday Show to be the row over trans prisoners.

“Wow!” tweeted one user. “The Sunday Show, produced in Scotland for Scottish politics and events, headlines on Westminster and big bad Tories.”

Another, however, said Martin Geissler’s interview with Mr Hoy made “compulsive and entertaining viewing.”

Geissler acknowledged the last-minute changes, saying: “When I came in this morning I was preparing for a very different interview with Craig Hoy, then at two minutes past nine this information dropped, Zahawi was gone.”

He did, however, manage to cover the trans prisoner issue by running through the Sunday newspaper front pages. As he did so the music started up. It was like the Oscars when a winner overruns.

Had the unusual Sunday morning announcement been a smart move by Downing Street to seize the initiative? Did it show that Mr Sunak, despite what Labour had said, was a strong leader and “big enough” for the job? Was it meant to distract the media and public from more damaging news elsewhere?

In the excitement viewers might have missed Mr Gove confessing to being an admirer of Rod Stewart. The rocker (Stewart not Gove) called into Sky News last week telling the Tories to go. “I grew up listening to Rod Stewart,” Mr Gove told Sophy Ridge. “I’m a huge fan of his. All I would say is the Government is absolutely focused on solving the problems that Rod and others are worried about.” So there.