Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Paxman: What a farce

After a year of softly-softly interviews with the likes of Vanessa Feltz, the BBC finally had a chance to grill Boris on his record yesterday.

The result was beyond terrible.

First up we had Andrew Neil, who given ten minutes to question the Mayor, decided to ask age-old questions about the Bullingdon Club and play an 18 month old clip of the Mayoral elections.

Worse than that, the vast bulk of the questioning was on an area (EU treaty law) where Boris has zero knowledge, control or influence over. Truly awful.

Next up we had Jeremy Paxman, who having seemingly missed Neil's interview, proceeded to ask almost exactly the same irrelevant questions all over again.

After the umpteempth question on Bullingdon, Boris quite rightly responds:

"Is that really what you are asking? Is this what Newsnight has come to? Is this what depths you have plumbed on this show?"

The interview breaks down into pure farce, with Boris deciding to ask his own questions before being asked to deliver his own speech direct to the camera.

All on the same day that Boris announces a major u-turn and a £5bn cut* in transport spending.

What a despicable waste of an opportunity.

*The only place you'll have seen this reported was on BBC London by Tim Donovan. This is one interviewer that Boris has serially avoided.


Chris said...

Good point about Donovan. Has Boris ever been interviewed by him?

AdamB said...

He was once during the election about bus costs I think (which went really badly for him) but hardly if ever since his election.

He's never agreed to a proper interview with Donovan on the Politics Show to my knowledge. Countless shows with Vanessa of course.

Anonymous said...

Paxman is worth every penny of that million then


Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Yes, a not very funny farce.

Anonymous said...

I agree. I felt exactly the same way about the Hard Talk interview.

It is despicable and depressing. I really don't understand it - there are so many journalists, bloggers and ordinary voters who regularly think about far more pertinent stuff.

There's his handling of the G20 for a start. His industrial relations. The routemaster project. The black hole in TfL. His cultural programme.

I really feel we're losing the plot.

Great blog, keep it up.


AdamB said...

Thanks Claire.

Rob said...


The £5bn cut story has gone from the BBC London News page. Have you a direct link?

AdamB said...

It was the lead story on BBC London on Monday, but there was no article on the site, just a report from Tim Donovan.

The BBC London shows aren't archived on iplayer unfortunately, although the RealMedia file is probably still up there. I haven't got a link unfortunately.

saifu03 said...

5bn cut was on the Evening Standard boards.
Think it was "Torys shocked by Boris £5bn cuts" or something very similar.