My guest this week is Iain Dale, radio presenter, commentator, blogger, publisher, author and former Parliamentary candidate. Iain talks about why he turns down many TV invitations these days, why he hates the ‘gotcha’ style of interviewing and why the long form interview is back in vogue. He also reveals how he has gotten people to open up to him in a way that they haven’t to other interviewers.
Iain reflects on how it used to be a challenge for him to interview people he knew well, e.g. David Davis, but that that isn’t the case now. He says he can get more out of someone through the soft form, non-confrontational interview, and he likens David Frost’s interview style to that of Lt. Columbo.
Iain reflects on his recent LBC interview with former House of Commons Speaker John Bercow and the interview he conducted with David Amess, six months before he was murdered. We talk about the difference between a radio and a podcast interview and find out which former Prime Minister Iain is waiting to interview and why he wishes he had had the chance to interview Douglas Hurd.
At University, Iain studied German, Linguistics and Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and Iain discusses how he got into the media, and how he has a lot of freedom in the type of radio he does. On LBC he gets to give his opinions, but Iain explains why he isn’t a ‘shock jock’.
Iain discloses why he doesn’t like wishy washy centrist elections, why the Falklands War was the big ‘sliding doors’ moment of his life and how setting up a Conservative Association at UEA was a defining moment for him.
Iain talks about ‘shy Tory syndrome’ at British universities, why Labour has lost the last four elections and why he has been called ‘the thinking man’s Brexiteer’. Iain also reveals how his time at LBC has knocked off the harder edges of his views on social issues, and Iain reflects on what would have happened if he had been elected as an MP.
We find out how he came to do a podcast with Jacqui Smith who he thought was shabbily treated in her time as Home Secretary, and why on Twitter people still see Iain as a die hard Tory. Iain has, though, voted for other parties, and has recently called for the nationalization of P&O.
At the end of the interview Iain discusses Brexit derangement syndrome (on both sides), and we learn that Iain is a naturally nostalgic person. He also explains what the test is of a good friendship.