Politicians use all means to try and grab and hold the floor during interviews including non-verbal means. Nigel Farage has developed an interesting technique where he flutters his eyes for a few seconds, almost bringing them to a close, in an attempt to shut out the interviewer and hold the floor.

Farage was being interviewed by Andrew Marr (AM) on Sunday. About eight minutes into the interview Marr interrupted his turn. In order to hold the floor and finish his turn, Farage (NF) fluttered his eyes almost bringing them to a close.  The flutter starts in line 6 below and finishes in line 12.

01 NF: very happy to do that
02 AM: okay
03 NF: but (.) not to-
04     I didn’t
05 AM: okay well [let’s let’s talk about co-
►6 NF: ((eye flutter starts))
07               [Andrew Andrew
08 AM: [let’s talk about
09 NF: [I did not spend
10 AM: let’s [talk about compromise
11 NF:       [I did not spend twenty five years
►12    ((eye flutter ends))
13     campaigning to leave the EU treaty
14     to sign up to another one

External link to audio clip

External link to brief video clip

You can listen to the audio or see a brief video clip of the flutter by clicking on the links above.

Jon Craig, the Sky News political correspondent, is also another pundit who can often be seen using the eye flutter.


The Andrew Marr Show, BBC, 3rd November 2019 (at about 26 mins into programme)