I've never quite understood why some people continue to think that I am a soft interviewer. It's true that I tend not to shout or get aggressive. It's true that if I get a bit shouty, I do it with a smile, but that does not equate to 'softness'. I prefer to do conversational style interviews, as they tend to elicit more than if you go in for the kill from the off. If you do that an interviewee clams up and puts up the shutters, and then just go into robot mode.
Often it's a case of 'slowly, slowly, catchee money'. I am lucky in that in my Sunday morning or Tuesday night interviews I have 22 minutes of intervews and 22 minutes of taking calls. Few other interviewers get that luxury.
During the European election campaigns I am doing interviews with politicians from all parties. In the coming two weeks I'll host some more interviews with people like Green Party leader Sian Berry, LibDem Deputy Leader Jo Swinson, a leading Conservative and also someone from UKIP. We've already covered Labour, the Brexit Party and Change UK. We're also going to host two multi party debates this Thursday and next Thursday.
I defy anyone to suggest that the recent interviews I have done with Brandon Lewis, Barry Gardiner, Nigel Farage or Andrew Adonis could be described as 'soft'. I think I have treated them all in the same way, and they have all been quite combative. People assumed last week's interview with Nigel Farage was going to be full of softball questions because people know I agree with him on Brexit. Well it wasn't like that. I have a professinal job to do, and I do it, regardless of whether I agree with the views of the interviewees. Brandon Lewis is a good friend of mine. That goes out the window when I interview him, and quite right too. Brandon thinks I am the most difficult interviewer he faces. I suspect after today's LBC show, Andrew Adonis might agree. Anyway, judge for yourselves...