Brave or stupid? Cameron accepts invite to US chat show

David Cameron will take the dangerous step of appearing on the Late Show with David Letterman during his trip to the US, it was confirmed today.

The programme has three million viewers, offering the prime minister a chance to build on the goodwill fostered by the London Olympics – but it is also a potential minefield of banter and jokes which he may struggle to survive with his reputation intact.

Even Boris Johnson was previously left grasping for words earlier this year when the talk show host asked him: "How long have you been cutting your own hair?"

He later countered with a series of typical Boris witticisms, including the argument that "America is the proudest creation of London" and that "as a city we are not quite as fat as you… I mean not yet".

Many politicians manage to survive the session unharmed, including US president Barack Obama, who gave Letterman his first interview after Mitt Romney's infamous secret video gaffelast week.

Cameron himself does not have the best record on chat shows. When he appeared on the Jonathon Ross programme as opposition leader, he looked visibly uncomfortable when being asked whether he fantasised over Margaret Thatcher.

Downing Street said the prime minister would use the opportunity to "bang the drum for British business".

The appearance comes just after Cameron's speech to the UN general assembly, in which he will urge member states to abide by their development promises.