Stand-in presenters always feel they have something to prove. They start with the presumption that people will assume they are second best, a last minute replacement, a poor substitute.
So standing-in for Andrew Marr was always going to be hard; especially for newsreader Sophie Raworth. But going up against Peter Mandelson in your first big interview was not so much jumping in at the deep end as diving into middle of the Atlantic in a Force Ten gale.
However, Sophie succumbed to the belief that if you do a hard interview and produce a ‘defining TV moment’ you can make a name for yourself quite easily. Today’s ‘Andrew Marr’ was all about Sophie repositioning herself to be taken seriously and what better way then to get one over Mandelson?
She’d obviously decided to make a big thing about the recent articles questioning his stay on a Russian billionaire’s yacht.
Peter could quite easily ask what evidence she had to say that influenced any of his decisions (answer: nothing) otherwise it was just repeating a smear.
So to pull it round, Sophie chose to have a dig about Peter’s title, incorrectly suggesting he was the ‘Baron of Hartlepool of Foy.’
Peter’s response is both cutting and brutally hilarious.
The lesson to all interviewers – do your OWN research.
Click here and scroll to 55 minutes in for the full exchange.