Can be firm’ Dan Walker reacts to criticism of BBC Breakfast interview with Boris Johnson

Dan Walker grills Boris Johnson on the cost of living

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Dan Walker has said he “can be firm” while also “showing respect” as he addressed the divisive feedback he has received over his interview with Boris Johnson on BBC Breakfast today. The TV presenter shared viewers’ remarks about his interview technique following the broadcast and urged people not to “judge” based on the number of interruptions.

 

On Twitter, he typed in view of his 725,300 followers: “A mixture of ‘interrupt him’ and ‘let him speak’ responses to our interview with the PM.

“Don’t judge quality on rudeness of the interviewee or the number of interjections. I want you to listen and make your mind up.

“You can be firm and challenge a guest while showing respect.”

Dan was left visibly frustrated with Boris live on BBC Breakfast, and he told off the Prime Minister for “not answering my questions”.

In response, his followers shared their opinions on the heated exchange.

@bcamarshall said: “You were neither firm OR challenged him Dan. That’s what people have an issue with. You’re not a talk show host. You’re a supposed journalist. Whatever your fluffy wee chat this morning was, it certainly wasn’t journalism.”(sic)

@bdwelsh68 commented: “Those responses from people will purely be down to their political views. The fact you have criticism from both sides must mean you got the balance right!”

@Paul_Romain replied: “Quite right. If the interviewee is answering the question put to him then let the speak. If they are avoiding the question they should be prevented from doing so by interrupting them and challenging that avoidance, repeatedly if necessary. Why people can’t grasp this is beyond me.”

The BBC presenter interviewed the PM as part of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.

However, when the topic turned to winter supply chain issues for the country, Dan got increasingly frustrated with Boris, as he felt the political leader was simply avoiding his questions.

Putting it to the Prime Minister, Dan said to him: “You said Christmas will be better this year.

“There will be people watching who think, ‘Well it can’t be much worse’ because last Christmas was awful for so many people.”

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He then referenced comments made by the boss of Iceland, Richard Walker, who insisted that this Christmas was no longer about being okay, but more about “keeping the lights on and the wheels turning so that we actually get Christmas”.

It comes amid reports of shortages in lorry drivers and fears of supply chain issues leaving homes across the UK in trouble as the winter months approach.

Dan then asked him: “What will Christmas be like this year?”

Boris didn’t seem to answer directly, as he simply said: “Dan I repeat my point, I think Christmas this year will be considerably better than last year.”

Dan cut him off, saying: “Everyone will say that. How normal will it be?”

Boris replied: “Look, I think we have very reliable supply chains in this country.”

The TV presenter then asked him: “So you’re not worried about supply chain issues?”

Boris appeared to evade Dan’s question again though, responding: “We have fantastic logistics.”

Dan was determined not to let the issue slide, and he interrupted Boris as he asked once more: “Are you worried about supply chain issues?”

Boris continued by praising the Iceland boss instead, but Dan repeated his question sternly as the tensions rose in the studio.

“Are you worried about supply chain issues?” he tried yet again.

Finally, Boris answered that “there are obviously issues that we have to address. There have been shortages of lorry drivers around the world”.

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