Piers Morgan meeting his match on Good Morning Britain made me smile recently and it reminded me of all the times I have been on TV and radio where someone has lost their rag in a debate with me. The trick is quite obviously to remain calm, be armed with all the facts and understand who you are up against. Usually it is the guest who has to do their homework but in the case of Ash Sarkar it was poor old Piers Morgan who seemed a tad unprepared for her onslaught. I personally love Pier’s writing and he is a pretty sharp interviewer for the most part but I did rather enjoy watching Susanna Reid get hot under the collar with him as Ash called him an idiot. Not that I would recommend a contributor call an interview but it did make for some classic, memorable TV.
Over the years I have debated many topics and I have been tempted many a time to holler at some ill informed or horribly biased oppo sitting across from me but I never, ever lost my temper. The most trying was without doubt an interview where I was in BBC Radio Leicester debating maternity leave regulations down the line with journalist Polly Toynbee who was in the London studio with the presenter. Always prepared I was asked to explain why I thought small to medium businesses were suffering because of the increasing HR issues arising from extended maternity leave entitlement. At which point she rudely interrupted calling the then over four million UK SME’s “tin pot outfits with only two employees”! I was enraged and could have called her an idiot but I didn’t. I just calmly reminded her of the stats which included the fact that those tin pot outfits were employing 12 million people and providing nearly half of the UK’s GDP. That soon shut her up.
Both Piers and Susanna can be booked through The Speakers Agency by calling +44 (0) 1332 810481 or emailing [email protected]
Sylvia Tidy-Harris is the Managing Director of The Speakers Agency