Thursday 30 June 2016

A talkative Evan Davis

Here's a curious stat about the interview between Evan Davis and pro-Boris/pro-Leave Tory MP Crispin Blunt on last night's Newsnight

The interview - a hostile one on Evan's part - last  6m 07s from start to finish. Evan talked - and talked over Mr Blunt - for 2m 48s. In other words, Evan Davis talked for 46% of the interview, interrupting frequently (getting on for 18 times). 

He ended the interview with the words, "That is a very long way of saying you don't know whether it will go up of not. Crispin Blunt, sorry about that, we'll have to leave it there. Thank you very much".

The days when Evan was criticising Jeremy Paxman's aggressive interviewing style as "outworn" and "overdone" and slamming journalists (like Paxo) whose concern was in "getting the scalp" and "tripping people into gaffes" appear to be over - at least as regards interviews with pro-Brexit MPs.


  1. Yes, it was a wretched performance and failed to communicate anything to us because we simply couldn't hear what either was saying. There is a difference between a well-placed interruption by Paxo and relentlessly talking over somebody.
    Also at the end of the programme the BBC was still pushing the 'Parliament could vote to reject referendum' idea. To back their case, they exhumed Tam Dalyell (genuinely thought he'd been dead for years) - apparently all it takes, 'is for MPS to have the balls to vote no.' It would certainly take courage to overturn a democratic decision of the British people.

  2. TPTB at the BBC must realise that this silly little man can't continue at Newsnight. If he stays, the programme will become a laughing stock.

  3. I don't know if the BBC is biased, but clearly Evan Davis is. It's fine to be hostile and challenging, but to constantly talk over the interviewee so that they can't get a word in edgeways is not. At one point ED used this tactic to stop Blunt from answering a question, then promptly said words to the effect of "Well, you're clearly not going to answer that question, so we'll move on". Compare and contrast with the infamous Paxman interview with Michael Howard, where the latter really did refuse to answer the question, so Paxman just kept repeating it over and over again. Hostile, yes, but not trying to shut the man up - far from it.

  4. The art of interviewing is that you are prepared to listen. It was clear that Evan Davis has not mastered this. As a remain voter I was eager to hear what Mr Blunt had to say. It is imperative that both sides work together to heal the rift in this divided nation and the role of the BBC is vital. Please move on Mr Davis and let us benefit from some positive interviewing.

  5. I was so angry listening to smug Evan Davies just constantly blocking any chance for Mr Blunt to explain his views. He should have just told him to shut up and listen and if he didn't then walk off. So so rude.

  6. He did the same to Dan Hannan. Someone needs to reign him in. Its not just aggressive interviewing it's projecting personal opinions onto the viewer and disrespecting the interviewee. What happened to all the talk about respecting politicians after the death of Jo Cox? Disgraceful.

  7. Yes. Blatant bias. He never interrupts people he agrees with and gives them unhurried airtime, to expand and elaborate on their point of view. But those he disagrees with are barely allowed to get a word in edgewise.

  8. Reminded me very much of his "totally wired" efforts one Saturday morning as he railed at Lord David Young.
    Sounded as if he`d was still under the influence , as if he`d had an all-nighter and risked going in to "work" while still a bit fast.
    Truly bizarre-but, doubtless this would have been edgy and sticking it to the Tories.
    Why don`t the likes of Blunt just walk off and let Davis peck his mirror until he gets bored-he obviously had no intention of listening, of responding to what he was told.
    46% of his chatter,interruption quotient of 3/min over 6 minutes...we`ve got our baseline of thanks!

    1. Evan "I was talking to a sailor last night" Davis? Yeah, that does sound like something he'd do.

  9. Classic Evan Davis. Paxman is known for creating the BBC Gold Standard of 'Robust' Interviews by repeating, "Answer the question!" over and over to an idiotic Michael Howard over an issue which, quite frankly, pales in importance compared to the time Paxman got Blair to admit he had no idea how many tens upon tens of thousands of 'student' Pakistani immigrants had vanished from the rolls. Paxman also has a patent on the loud, shoulder-heaving sigh.

    Davis, on the other hand, is now known not so much for the machine gun-style interruptions and talking over his guest, but really for restating his guest's answer in a way that twists and mischaracterizes it as much as possible so that the audience gets Davis's message rather than the guest's.

    Exactly what he's done here. It's sad, really, because Davis is actually smarter than this. It's baffling to me the things he comes up with sometimes.


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