THE third Holyrood leaders’ debate was broadcast to the entire UK by Channel 4 News, the one news programme that still does proper investigative journalism.

Debate innovation: no opening statements (well, we knew what they were going to say). And a heavyweight quizmaster at last – Krishnan Guru-Murthy, who once interviewed me in an Edinburgh pub surrounded by loud drunks and kept his cool. No Alex Salmond, of course, but Channel 4’s intro did explain the rise of Alba.

Political elephants in the room: Boris Johnson and sleaze. Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross had the good grace to be embarrassed.

Best put down (Guru-Murthy to Labour leader Anas Sarwar): “If you don’t want to talk about the constitution, then sit this round out”.

Best riposte: “I will speak for myself” (First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to Ross).

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon keeps her cool despite rantings from Douglas Ross at Channel 4 debate

Worst tie: Ross’s electric kipper.

Best question (from Guru-Murthy to Ross): “Is the Union voluntary? Can Scotland Leave?” Still waiting for an answer.

Bravest promise: Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie arguing for a wealth tax.

Who got squeezed out: Nice Mr Rennie, leader of the Scottish LibDems (who kept up his one-man campaign for mental health provision).

Most shouty: Ross trying to show he’s his own man (and failing).

FM defending alleged lack of information on independence: “I’ll take no lessons from the party that brought us Brexit”.

Most forensic: Harvie, as usual.

First to mention independence: Willie Rennie (referencing why we shouldn’t let it distract us. Eh?)

Best intervention: Harvie puts Anas Sarwar on the spot over whether there is a democratic path to a referendum. Anas changes the subject.

Format weakness: Four shouty men criticising the FM. This was too one-sided for sustained interest.

Super League scores: Ross (2), Rennie (3), Sarwar (4), Sturgeon (6), Harvie (6), Guru-Murthy (8).

Could hear a pin drop: Ross admits he would have voted against gay marriage had he been in Holyrood.