BBC Complaints: The link you need!

Saturday, 1 August 2009


My fingers shall rest shortly, as here is my last subject for investigation - Gavin Esler.
That this genial left-winger is not a biased interviewer has rarely struck my mind.
His behaviour on 'Dateline: London' would convince even the most sceptical person of his undisguised ultra-liberal sentiments.
Let the interruption coefficients speak:
Grant Shapps, Conservative (24/7) - 2.4
Malcolm Rifkind, Conservative (16/7) - 1.6
Keith Vaz, Labour (23/7) - 0.8
Brian Paddick, Lib Dem (9/7) - 0.8
Jim Knight, Labour (15/7) -0.8
Tony Wright, Labour (23/7) - 0.7
John Prescott, Labour (9/7) - 0.4
Ben Bradshaw, Labour (24/7) - 0
Charles Clarke, Labour (24/7) - 0
Average number of interruptions per political party:
Conservatives - 2.0
Lib Dems - 0.8
Labour 0.5
In June, though, his averages for both Labour and the Conservatives were 1.7, though that figure is based on a grand total of 3 interviews!
This just goes to show that the I.C.s are only a part of the story. Content and tone are just as important. They, however, are very hard to quantify.


  1. Do you consider speed of interruption as well? A pretty much immediate interruption might count for 2 or 4 times more than one after a part answer.

  2. That's a good point. I haven't looked at that, but it could prove a useful side measure to weight all the many I.C.s that share a number (and, as you can see, there are a lot of them!). I use the number of questions as a side measure already - on the principle that the more questions there are the more the interview favours the interviewer), but your idea would make a second tool (for extra precision). I will think about how to factor it in. Thanks.


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