After traffic en route, a chancellor not renowned for standup delivered a few choice and sometimes spiky gags
The bleaker the economic predictions in a budget, the warmer the jokes need to be. And given the news that growth had been downgraded to 1.5% and the low forecasts for growth stretching out until 2022, Philip Hammond needed all the laughs he could get.
Things didn’t go brilliantly in the run-up to the speech. First up, people noticed how the Treasury team didn’t quite manage to pull off a tribute to the Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover.