The news that Eddie Mair is departing the BBC for LBC has been met with disappointment by his former comrades. However, Mr S suspects that there is one man who will today be breathing a sigh of relief.
Step forward Boris Johnson. It’s no secret that the foreign secretary has a frosty relationship with the broadcaster – in fact, the majority of Boris’s broadcast gaffes have been when Mair was the one asking the questions:
Mair to Boris – ‘you’re a nasty piece of work’
In the first interview in 2013, Mair branded Boris a ‘nasty piece of work’. He was referring to Mr. Johnson’s integrity, which came under scrutiny in Michael Cockerell’s contemporary documentary. The allegations had been made before, and indeed partially faced by Boris in a memorable HIGNFY. But unlike before, Boris appeared genuinely flustered by the patient but firm scrutiny that Mair put him under.
Boris Johnson’s car crash Radio 4 interview
Although Boris’s integrity remains a subject of much hilarity among journalists and politicians alike, the second interview was perhaps more damaging. What the 2017 interview on Radio 4 showed was a lack of competence.
Audibly shuffling paper, the Foreign Secretary appeared not to have read the Queen’s speech, ostensibly the subject of the interview. After a standard kerfuffle of Johnsonian obfuscation, Mair accused his opponent of treating the interview like a Two Ronnies sketch.
Happily, Mr S suspects that Mair will be in good company at LBC where his new colleague James O’Brien seems to have a monthly slot for his rants against the Foreign Secretary.
The question is: will Johnson agree to appear on it?