May's mayoral election was criticised by psephological purists for being all style over substance: much of Boris' appeal lay in his ebullient media persona, honed by regular appearances on Have I Got News For You. If certain rumours are to be believed, then BBC television shows could be the new proving ground for mayoral candidates - Labour insiders are apparently considering Sir Alan Sugar as their man for the 2012 election.
Labour want a top businessman as their candidate, and have reportedly shortlisted the self-made millionaire, cheekily ignoring the fact that in recent years 'Surallan' has been renowned for his surliness on The Apprentice rather than any business acumen. William Hill are offering 20/1 odds on Sugar stepping into City Hall four years hence.
All of which may come as a surprise to Ken Livingstone, who's been acting like the presumptive Labour candidate ever since he left office. His garden remains unweeded as, since his defeat, Ken has launched a string of broadsides against his successor, sending letters, issuing press releases and causing general bother. His busybodying is alarming Labour, who fear he may run another independent campaign if not selected. Historian and Labour cheerleader Tristram Hunt pleaded with Livingstone to "get over it" in today's Guardian, claiming that he is not only undermining his legacy but also damaging Labour's future mayoral interests.
Having spent most of his life enmeshed in the murky shallows of London politics, perhaps Ken is simply unable to move on. Or perhaps he's itching to get his mitts on whatever remains of his secret liquor stash. Whichever way, he doesn't seem to have understood that moving out of City Hall effectively meant his employment was terminated. Who better to deliver the coup de gras than Sugar? "Ken.... you're fired".