Jeremy Hunt dropped a real clanger on Friday when he broke the bell he was supposed to be ringing.
The Culture Secretary had visited HMS Belfast, on the Thames, with hundreds of school children to join London's three-minute bell-ring to mark the start of the Olympic Games.
However, the decks of the historic warship rang with laughter when he shook the gong with such enthusiasm that its brass head snapped and flew into the crowd of onlookers.
The laughter could have turned to horror, though, as the instrument narrowly missed a group of watching women who leapt out of the path as it flew towards them.
Red-faced and flustered, he leapt to retrieve the missing ringer from among their feet, exclaiming: "My goodness me, are you alright? That was a terrible moment. Health and safety. Are you OK? Disaster averted."