After boycotting BBC Radio for two years, Boris Johnson gives an interview to the Today programme. It’s safe to say he won’t be back for at least another two years.
Boris Johnson was interviewed on BBC radio 4, the Today programme, this morning. Johnson has not been on the BBC radio’s flagship news programme for two years since he started a boycott of it, allegedly due to it’s pro-remain, anti-Tory bias. Robinson did not let him forget this fact.
The interview was quite tetchy due to this and perhaps due to the contrasting styles of the two interlocutors. Robinson, the interviewer, frequently interrupts his guests, often mid-sentence, and doesn’t endure equivocation from politicians. Johnson has a somewhat rambling, bombastic style and likes space in the discourse to finish his points.
I have transcribed twelve turn transitions which are the most interesting points. These represents fights for control of the floor and the direction of the discourse. At one point, Robinson even lectures the Prime Minister to ‘stop talking’ as if he were a pupil in class. Listen to the audio below and read the transcript at the same time to see which of these two battle-hardened conversationalists wins the day. It is probably fair to say that Johnson won’t be back on the Today programme for at least another two years!
PM = Prime Minister (Boris Johnson) NR = Nick Robinson (interviewer) ===1=== PM: er stresses and strains there er stre- there clearly stresses and strains people people NR: let me tell what the stress and strains might be Lord Wolfson PM: go on NR: just have to pause a second and then I give the question to you PM: sorry NR: so Lord Wolfson... ===2=== PM: coming to this country I want to er I want to see that but what I- NR: so should we listen to businesses business leaders let me just make this point PM: yes go on NR: who say let us decide... ===3=== PM: of of pay but also of conditions so take the road haulage NR: so British n- n- n- no no PM: can I just can I just can I just finish this point NR: no prime minister you made that point you made it at length in a series of interviews in the run up to this conference PM: hang on I wa- I haven't had a chance to make this point on your show for two years by your own account NR: that was your choice not our now you want British workers... ===4=== PM: er which I think is what you're talking about marked uncontrolled immigration NR: no nobody is suggesting that prime minister PM: yes they are NR: (indistinct) nobody wants PM: no well they are NR: (indistinct ) visas PM: so what Lord what Lord what Lord what Lord Wolfson is is saying... ===5=== PM: and I think and I and I think the problem with that's exactly what you just said NR: yes PM: so I think the problem NR: let's be (indistinct) you're telling what someone else thinks and I wanna know what you think PM: well you well you NR: no prime minister (indistinct) PM: and I don't I don't think and I don't think that is the way forward I seriously don't this country is at a turning point nick... ===6=== PM: of young people in this country who frankly at the moment are thinking of becoming truck drivers [that is going that is going NR: [you have made that point very clearly PM: that is going to change NR: and prime minister you are going to pause PM: that is going to change and and that is going to be a good thing NR: prime minister stop talking we are gonna have questions and answers not where you merely talk if you wouldn't mind now the question I now want to ask you BJ: well I'd be happy to stop talking NR: is about the cost of living if you would... ===7=== PM: er to enable them to invest in capital and equipment and NR: my question to you is who pays it isn't it the consumer that always pays corporate taxes it will add in other words to the cost of living crisis PM: no it's business that pays it... ===8=== PM: er their business more efficient [and that is and that is why NR: [er I'm sorry the tories are always arguing BJ: [and that is why NR: [that (corporate taxes) are paid for by consumers and I want to ask you about the cost of living in general if I can this week you said... ===9=== PM: and I think that is a fantastic thing NR: forgive me forgive me PM: and and there'll be many (indistinct) there will be many (indistinct) NR: I want you to talk about some other subjects that I know that you care passionately about of course we wanna hear you talk but wanna hear you talk on a range of subjects not just one let's turn to a subject... ===10=== PM: er domestic violence and se- sexual violence and all that [all that all that NR: [(indistinct) prime minister because the tories have been in power for eleven years and cut the budget of the courts and so we've now got five hundred violent crime or sexual abuse victims have been waiting two or more years before their... ===11=== PM: er the sentences for serious sexual and [mhm] and violent offences and that's the right thing NR: you have a woman's minister PM: but but it needs to be accelerated NR: she is also the foreign secretary at the minis- at the moment if you really want to... ===12=== PM: so if captain hindsight had been in charge we'd still be in lockdown NR: prime minister PM: don't forget NR: thank you for coming here thank you for talking to the today programme PM: very kind of you to let me talk NR: allowing the occasional question as well PM: very kind to let me talk NR: do come again that was the point of inviting me on your show anyway lovely to see you (1.5) AN: the time now is twenty seven minutes past eight END OF INTERVIEW This is a quick transcription which does not indicate all the overlap.
BBC Radio 4 – Today programme, 5th October 2021 (2hr 10min approx.)