The Top Ten: Political interviewers
John Rentoul is chief political commentator for The Independent on Sunday, and visiting professor at King's College, London, and at Queen Mary University of London. Previously he was chief leader writer for The Independent. He has written a biography of Tony Blair, whom he admired more at the end of his time in office than he did at the beginning.
Sunday 31 August 2014
This list was compiled by Oscar Pearson, inspired by news of Evan Davis's appointment to replace Jeremy Paxman on 'Newsnight'.
Pearson set up chatpolitics.org last year, featuring interviews with politicians, writers and comedians. The rankings were decided by a straw poll on Twitter, and are therefore completely unreliable.
1. Andrew Neil When MP Diane Abbott said West Indian mums would "go to the wall for their children" he asked if she would like to make clear they were no better or worse than other mums.
2. Eddie Mair "You're a nasty piece of work, aren't you?" he asked Boris Johnson.
3. Cathy Newman Told George Galloway, "I think you got a little bit carried away," when he compared his Bradford by-election victory with the Arab Spring.
4. Martha Kearney Ed Miliband struggled with her repeated, polite question: "Your solution to producing more growth is to spend more, is it not?"
5. Nick Robinson Expertly cornered Ukip's Nigel Farage into saying, in a live interview, that no British person could do the job of his secretary – his German-born wife.
6. Adam Boulton Has interviewed every British Prime Minister from Alec Douglas-Home onwards, and even swallowed a fly live on air in July 2014.
7. Krishnan Guru-Murthy Dismantled then-MP Jim Devine on his expenses. "I moved money around, as I was told I was entitled to do."
8. Laura Kuenssberg Asked Harriet Harman about her past link with the Paedophile Information Exchange: "It's a very simple question. Yes or no? Was it a mistake?"
9. Fi Glover Told Jeffrey Archer that, according to a computer analysis, "Your book is worse than a Sun leader."
10. Jon Snow Spent the first six minutes of a live interview debating whether or not Tory MP Zac Goldsmith had agreed to do the interview. And the ties.
Next week: Tracks not as good as their intro
Coming soon: Eponyms: words from a person's name, such as quisling. Send your suggestions, and ideas for future Top 10s, to firstname.lastname@example.org
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