The BBC’s interview program Hardtalk has what is by far the industry’s most skillful research team. I am constantly amazed at the depth and knowledge of the questions presented by the show’s very capable hosts to the politicians, heads of state, and business,media and sports personalities that have appeared over the years on the program. Indeed, at times I couldn’t help but feel sorry for some of the more ill-prepared guests on the show, while they flustered and strained to come up with adequate responses to the piercing questions posed to them. This is not a program for anyone looking for a Piers Morgan-like fluff and feel-good half hour.
While it is always a pleasure to watch well informed and skillful hosts skewering ill-prepared politicians, it is a rare treat to watch an episode where the guest is as well prepared, knowledgeable and every bit the expert as Hardtalk’s team of researchers. Such was the joy of watching the episode where the amazingly well-informed Dr Brooke Magnanti was interviewed by the equally well prepared Katya Adler.
This was by far one of the best handled half-hour interviews I’ve ever had the privilege of watching, especially considering the controversial subject matter, prostitution. I consider it a must-watch 30 minutes of television for anyone whose job involves talking with the media. It is a text book example of a well-prepared, skillful and knowledgeable expert defending a point of view that would be challenging under the best of circumstances.