Television interviewers’ tips

Jon Sopel, Jane Corbin and Jim Fitzpatrick provide insights into how to get the most out of a TV interview. Jane has been a Panorama reporter since 1988; Jon is a presenter on the News Channel; while Jim is BBC Northern Ireland’s business and economics editor.

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Between them, Jane Corbin, Jon Sopel and Jim Fitzpatrick have a huge range of interviewing experience: from long-form political debate in a studio, to snatched opportunities to question suspected terrorists in hostile environments.

Some of their advice: 

  • Be “sceptical not cynical”
  • Avoid “grandstanding” or showing-off
  • Be sure of your facts
  • Plan but be prepared to be agile and don’t waste unexpected opportunities.

In particular, don’t miss the “gem” in the interview because you’re not paying enough attention to your guest’s answers.