too deferential to the Royal family and he said, ‘Deferential? Oh no, that’s far too strong. Maybe too cautious.’ The nearest he came to expressing an opinion was when I asked who he thought was the best political interviewer.
He said Andrew Neil. What about Laura Kuenssberg? He said Andrew Neil. I remarked, ‘The one I can’t stand is Nick Robinson,’ and he beamed and mimed zipping his lips. ‘I can’t do dog-eat-dog with you, I don’t think it’s fair.’ He has written a memoir called Keep Talking and that’s what he does – keeps talking seamlessly so that it is very difficult to butt in with a question.
He also has a three-part TV series called Days That Shook the BBC that discusses occasions when the BBC came under fire, for example over the Jimmy Savile case or the death of David Kelly or Martin Bashir’s Princess Diana interview.
The TV critic for this newspaper called it ‘a fascinating exercise in self-flagellation’. I met him at his house in Pimlico.Read more on telegraph.co.uk