A Government minister was embarrassed after she let slip that Gordon Brown could star in an Apprentice-style TV show for young politicians.
Producers have approached the Prime Minister to act as a judge on the mooted programme, enthusing that he could become ‘more popular than Alan Sugar’.
The discussions were unwittingly revealed by Communities Secretary Hazel Blears as she left No. 10.
She was photographed carrying a printout of an email that described details of the ‘mainstream’ show, provisionally titled Junior PM.
It appears the novel idea is being taken fairly seriously, as a post-it note attached to the sheet states: “I think you intend to raise this in the margins of Cabinet.”
The email, sent by producer Margaret McCabe to Ms Blears’ special adviser Andy Bagnall, claims the programme would aim for an “Apprentice meets Maria/Strictly Come Dancing audience”, and go out on BBC One.
“Please please let all concerned know that this is not stunt TV,” it adds. “It is a golden opportunity for the PM to gather a youth manifesto and become more popular than Alan Sugar (along with certain cabinet colleagues!).”
Ms McCabe says a meeting with the BBC is scheduled to take place later this month.
A spokesman for Ms Blears confirmed there had been contact with the producers, but stressed nothing had been agreed.
“It is a very worthy programme idea,” he said. “These young people would engage and have some kind of competition, and then there would be a way of electing a young Prime Minister for a day. The idea is to get more young people interested in politics. But it hasn’t been commissioned yet. It is very early days.”