Sunday, 23 April 2017

For fans of stopwatches and calculators everywhere...

Andrew Marr

Today's utterly delightful edition of The Andrew Marr Show featured three big political interviews.

By my reckoning: The one with UKIP's Paul Nuttall lasted 6m 17s and contained 10 interruptions; the one with Plaid Cymru's Leanne Wood lasted 4m 07s and contained 2 interruptions; and the one with Labour's Jeremy Corbyn lasted 23m 41s and contained 28 interruptions. 

Using my old 'interruption coefficients' - where you simply divide the number of interruptions (made by the interviewer) by the length of the interview and the higher the interruption coefficient (I.C.) the tougher the interview - that works out today as (drum roll please!): an I.C. of 1.6 for Paul Nuttall, and I.C. of 1.2 for Jeremy Corbyn and an I.C. of 0.5 for Leanne Wood -  meaning that Paul Nuttall fared worst, interruptions-wise, at the hands of Andrew Marr today. 

Who'd have expected that? 

And going for statistical overkill (possibly)...

Paul Nuttall

The Paul Nuttall interview mainly focused on the burqa ban question (taking up 67% of the interview), with shorter sections on how UKIP might not stand against strongly pro-Brexit MPs from other parties (27%) and if/where Mr Nuttall himself might stand in the general election (6%).

Leanne Wood

The Leanne Wood interview mainly focused on questions of Plaid's 'constitutional vision' (taking up 59% of the interview), with other sections on Ms Wood's views on Labour's bank holiday plan (she approves of , 21%) and if/where she herself might stand (20%).

Jeremy Corbyn

The Jeremy Corbyn interview devoted 37% of the interview to foreign policy questions, though Britain's nuclear weapons were, by far, the single biggest issue for Andrew Marr in this section - though NATO, Russia and whether or not al-Baghdadi should be killed were other questions. Party political matters took up 13% of the interview; the bank holidays question 8%, matters related to private v public in the NHS and schools 19%, and Brexit 23%. 

Calculators down!


  1. Ironically I had to do a double take for the Leanne Wood look a likey Sarah Palin mainly because poor Leanne's so low profile for us midlander English.

    1. Funny you should say that. I didn't recognize Wood at first on Marr's show because for a long time she's been wearing what looks to me like a Sarah Palin hairdo.

  2. NATO, Russia, and assassination by drone were all directly connected to the Trident issue. They are all facets of the 'Corbyn is a threat to national security' narrative. Marr set the table for it during the paper review segment. So in my view, nearly 50% of the interview was spent on that, and was the only issue on which Marr seriously challenged Corbyn. Trying to help him step back from the abyss will be viewed as anti-Corbyn bias to those who share his views, of course.

  3. Just like Labour's 'schoolteacher' PPB Corbyn struggles with the less/fewer distinction.
    Perhaps you can tally those too?

  4. Craig, what's the highest ever IC you've recorded?

    1. That was 5.7 - Andrew Neil (perhaps unsurprisingly) giving Philip Hammond a hard time back in July 2009. (Must have been quite an interview!). The average was 0.7, so that was a real outlier. All the other exceptionally high ones were around the 3.0-3.7 mark.