It is the sort of thing that is often referred to as “car crash telly”.
It is not the sort of interview that someone as practised and skilled at evading and avoiding providing answers to uncomfortable questions usually gives.
But then, Boris Johnson usually picks and chooses who gets the chance to interview him with great care.
It’s probably fair to say that he won’t be agreeing to be interviewed by Eddie Mair again anytime soon.
Anyone who missed today’s Marr show on BBC1 should make a point of viewing this now.
Can he really be the next leader of the Conservative party? Is he truly a person fit to hold public office?
After viewing the interview, the answer to both questions can only be “no”. But then, the answer to the question “Should he be Mayor of London?” has twice been answered “yes” by the capital’s voters, despite much of what Mair raised being in the public domain for many years.
The reason that these episodes – making up quotes as a journalist; lying to his party leader about having an affair; providing the home address of someone so that they might be physically assaulted – are not widely known is that Boris has exercised a degree of control over the media – even in the pre-Leveson environment – that has ensured it rarely gets a proper airing except in Private Eye.
So Mair should be congratulated for raising the questions, and Johnson’s attempts to duck the questions ought to be well noted. Could you, really, ever trust a word that he says?
The documentary on Johnson, by veteran broadcaster Michael Cockerell on BBC2 on Monday, is also recommended viewing.
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- Boris has a right Mair in live BBC interview (libdemvoice.org)
- Boris Johnson: not true that I am a ‘nasty piece of work’ (telegraph.co.uk)