Previously best known for his athletic backflips on BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing, The One Show presenter Matt Baker makes for an unlikely Jeremy Paxman. But the former face of Blue Peter became the darling of Twitter when he asked David Cameron: "How on earth do you sleep at night?" It was the sort of no-nonsense questioning that even Paxo might have shied away from. We knew Baker had muscles – we just didn't know they were political ones. Smile fixed firmly in place, Baker had just finished thanking the prime minister for appearing on last night's edition of the teatime magazine show when he added: "Just very quickly, how on earth do you sleep at night?" Baker's co-host Alex Jones looked taken aback at the unexpected line of questioning – asked, Columbo-style, right at the end of the interview – and even Cameron appeared momentarily wrongfooted. "Erm, I've always been able to sleep OK," replied the PM. "At the end of the day if you are exhausted you will make the wrong decisions."
It was a distinct change of tone from the rest of the interview which had touched on happiness, the royal wedding, and whether an owl or a cat would be better at catching rats. "Nice chatty chatty comfy sofa. Then Matt Baker asks a killer. Who'd have thought," said comedian David Schneider on Twitter. But there was some debate as to whether the question was an innocent query – how the prime minister finds any time to sleep at night with such a busy schedule – or a rather more pointed accusation. "Matt Baker is my new hero. There is no way that question meant anything other than 'You're a monster, do you have a conscience?'" said one viewer.
Another countered: "Isn't he just asking David Cameron how he relaxes, rather than getting his Billy Bragg on? It's Matt Baker, after all." As the credits rolled to last night's show, the small talk between Cameron and the two presenters was in distinctly short supply. The BBC said it had received about 40 complaints, not in relation to Baker's question, which was watched by more than 6 million viewers, but the more general point of the show giving a platform to a politician. The corporation said it was unable to confirm details of future bookings – including if or when they would include other politicians – but pointed out that it had a wide range of MPs and parties in the runup to the general election, when all three party leaders featured.Baker could not be reached for comment at the time of publication.