ON the first day back after the Christmas recess, it wasn’t just MSPs that were ready and raring to go. Early in the proceedings, as Jackson Carlaw was grilling Nicola Sturgeon (again) on education, a climate change protester was ejected from the chamber by police, after heckling and holding up a banner about the oil and gas industry.

Thankfully for all involved, the was no reported nudity, as we saw with Extinction Rebellion last year in the House of Commons. Yet another reason the Scottish Parliament is so much better than Westminster: even our protesters have a bit more decorum.

You get the sense that even if a stray testicle had been unveiled in the chamber, it wouldn’t have stopped Sturgeon and Carlaw’s spirited sparring. The season of goodwill looked a distant memory as both leaders got stuck right in.

Carlaw has announced his bid to replace Ruth Davidson as Scottish Tory leader. He will square off against Michelle Ballantyne, who some tabloids have taken to referring to simply as "Mother of six".

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Every FMQs until the ballots are cast (the excitement is PALPABLE) is an audition for Carlaw. He accused the First Minister of beginning the session "in the same slippery fashion" as the last one.

Which raised all sorts of questions. Not least: has Jackson Carlaw MET Boris Johnson?

Business then carried on in much the same way it always does. MSPs prefaced their questions with mini-speeches, because brevity isn’t on any of their new year’s resolution lists. The First Minister showed off her encyclopaedic knowledge of the record of the Labour-led Welsh government. There was a lot of yawning.

And then, the disorder began again – and for once, John Swinney wasn’t involved. MSPs cast their eyes upwards as a climate change protester shouted: "There has been no leadership from this government!" Rumours are going around that opposition parties are in talks to get the protesters to stand in for their leaders at next week’s FMQs. To this end, telephone numbers were exchanged before the protester was unceremoniously bundled out by police.

WATCH: First 2020 FMQs interrupted by climate change protesters

Amidst all the drama, Zen Ken forgot to call Willie Rennie for his second question. An injustice that was felt keenly by the viewing public.

"It’s MY fault," said the presiding officer apologetically, "it’s not Mr Rennie’s fault." It certainly wasn’t Rennie’s fault he was overlooked. Say what you like about the fella, but nobody can accuse him of being easily forgotten. "They don’t want to hear it, presiding officer!" replied Rennie, grinning manically. "And I think we all know why..." The laughter of his colleagues suggested Rennie might have arrived at the correct conclusion, but for the wrong reasons.

As MSPs filed out of the chamber, a few glanced upwards.

Perhaps they were checking the public gallery to see if all the protesters had been cleared. Or maybe – as is more likely – they were offering a silent prayer to a higher power that they would catch Norovirus and could skip FMQs next week…