David Dimbleby has been the face of the BBC's election broadcast for more than half a century. He was supposed to have retired after the 2015 election but then Prime Minister Theresa May called a snap election for 8 June 2017 – and the 78-year-old couldn't resist coming back for one more.

However, with the nation on tenterhooks as a shock exit poll suggested that the UK could wake up on Friday morning to a hung Parliament – or even Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister – the evergreen presenter seem distracted by more pedantic matters. Indeed, he seemed distinctly grumpy.

For a man who at age 75 had a tattoo of a scorpion on his shoulder, he was definitely spikey. First to annoy the TV veteran was the sound quality of some of the transmissions from the early count results.

"Once again the sound quality of these election places is abysmal, it's supposed to be 2017 not 1917," he harrumphed.

Then it was an uninvited fly buzzing around the BBC's hi-tech studio which had Mr Dimbleby flapping his hands above his head and shouting cantankerously over the gathered pundits, "There's a fly in the studio!"

Shortly afterwards his ire was at the slow pace of Parliamentary constituencies being declared: "Why are there so few results before midnight?" he moaned.

Indeed, his miserable countenance extended to fellow presenters. The venerable Andrew Marr pulled up a chair at the great man's desk, ready to opine on the night's drama. Dimbleby introduced to him... then ordered him not to speak.

His grumpy demeanour didn't go uncommented upon by viewers who took to Twitter to voice concerns. "Does anyone else have a slight concern for David Dimbleby pulling these all nighters?"

Others were more brutal. "Nearly 80, David Dimbleby doesn't encourage interest in democracy. An Old Boy Network choice to front."

Question Time
Veteran presenter David Dimbleby BBC