As this RTS exploration of powerful moments in TV political interviews unfolded, it quickly became clear just how extraordinary 2020 has been, even in an era of jaw-dropping statements from politicians and startling TV encounters.
ITV News’ Tom Bradby joins John Whittingdale MP, broadcaster, journalist and political commentator Ayesha Hazarika and writer and director Jed Mercurio (Line of Duty, Bodyguard) to discuss their top political moments across the decades
John Whittingdale, MP, Minister of State for Media and Data, speaking at an RTS event said that in the 1980s ITV’s Brian Walden would devote all his hour-long programme to a set-piece interview with a senior politician.
“Several times I helped Margaret Thatcher prepare for a Walden interview,” he recalled. “We don’t have that in-depth interview any longer.
As the face of ITV’s flagship news programme and the moderator of ITV’s political discussion programme The Agenda – an experience he sometimes compares to “refereeing a really bad tempered football game”, Bradby is in the driving seat of television news.
“We have a lot of really high quality people,” he begins. “I am effectively a conductor, saying ‘I’ve got this brilliant cellist, this brilliant violinist.’”