Sunday, 1 December 2019

Interruption time

For old time's sake I thought I'd count up the number of interruptions each interviewee suffered on this morning's The Andrew Marr Show

Here are my totals:

Chuka Umunna - 14
Shami Chakrabarti - 5 
Boris Johnson - 91

If you divide the number of interruptions by the length of the interview to get a better sense of the frequency of the interruptions (i.e. work out an interruption coefficient), this works out as follows:

Chuka Umunna - 1.9
Shami Chakrabarti - 0.4
Boris Johnson - 3.3

Which means, if you take it as a measure of the toughness of each interview, Boris got an eight times tougher interview than Shami...which feels about right. 


  1. Thanks for this Craig. Can you give an indication of the total interview length, The time spent on questions, the time spent on over-talking and the uninterrupted time given to answers and responses?

    1. For the part I saw there was no "uninterrupted time" given for answers. You have to be able to complete a meaningful sentence and not be talked over for it to be called "uninterrupted time". Even if he was allowed to complete the odd sentence, that's by the by as his chain of thought was being interrupted all the time.

    2. Sorry - train of thought!

    3. The Chuka Umunna interview lasted just over 7 minutes, the Shami Chakrabarti one lasted just over 11 minutes and the Boris Johnson one lasted over 27 minutes. The other statistics would take a few hours to work out, but - as MB says - the "uninterrupted time", indeed the total amounts of time each spoke for, would be interesting.

      Incidentally, I slightly miscounted the total time for Boris Johnson's interview and have amended the I.C. accordingly. It was even tougher than I thought (by a percentage point!),

  2. Please Craig, get your analysis on to other even more widely read outlets - because this is an outrage to the democratic process. The extent of interruption was off the scale. I prefer the 91 figure, because it was the cumulative effect of those interruptions rather than the rate which turned what was supposed to be an interview into an attempted political assassination by a supposedly impartial BBC presenter.

    Sadly I caught the last ten minutes of the Andrew Marr "interview". It was a complete and utter travesty. Robin Day must be turning in his grave.

    We now face a serious threat to our democracy the partisan media here (as in the USA) is now censoring our prime holder of office. It does this firstly by offering up only the briefest of non-sequitir snippets from his speeches in regular news and otherwise in so-called interviews his responses are interrupted into meaningless talk-over confusion. Then for good measure they throw in rude insults about chuntering, lying, his attitude to women and his personal life.

    To be rude and insensitive myself, Marr because of his disability is not up to the job. His interruptions are so clumsy partly owing I think to his disability: there is no vocal dexterity, the interruptions sounding increasingly robotic.

    It is ironic that only a week or so ago Marr was claiming (falsely, it was a false claim already) that he does not do aggressive, hostile "gotcha-style" interviews. What BS! That interview was extremely aggressive, rude, hostile and ended up on the mother of all "gotchas" - Boris's thoughts on Islamophobia and the Koran. One can only hope that since his thoughts were eminently sensible that might cut through with the public.

    But it is extremely concerning that the polls seem to be narrowing. It's not surprising given how much the public are brainwashed by the media and in schools and universities, never being exposed to anything other than lib-left pack-thought.

    1. Guido is of the same view (although his headline writers seem completely dyslexic I've noticed):

    2. The accompanying Guido YouTube video's headline is better: Andrew Marr Forgets how to Interview.