UK Politics

Jeremy Corbyn: Can his political interview style succeed?

Jeremy Corbyn

First we had the Jeremy Corbyn way of doing Prime Minister's Questions.

Now, we've had the Corbyn way of doing the set-piece political interview.

And it is very, very different.

Most spin doctors would probably have been holding their head in their hands at Mr Corbyn's rather diffident, unorthodox style during his round of set piece interviews with the main broadcasters on Wednesday evening.

Normally the set-piece interview with political leaders can be a rather fraught process.

There will be lengthy discussions about the backdrop; the chair; the cushions; the surrounding furniture; whether to cross legs or un-cross legs and so on.

Then there will be anxious queries about the line of questioning - the order of the subjects and the duration of the interview.

And of course the politician will have remorselessly rehearsed and prepared his answers.

His or her clothes, tie and hair will all have been carefully thought about.

As little will have been left to chance as possible.

Last night, Mr Corbyn seemed to chuck all that conventional interview wisdom out of the window.

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Media captionLabour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks to political editor Laura Kuenssberg

Far from having a pre-prepared set of stock answers, he seemed to be almost musing aloud.

Asked about whether he might kneel before the Queen - he pondered and pleaded for more time to think about it.

And when asked a hypothetical question, he noted it was a hypothetical question and then answered it.

Normally politicians won't touch a hypothetical question with a barge pole.

As for his performance? Low-key would be a charitable way to describe it. Mr Corbyn seemed remarkably un-fussed by the whole pantomime of the traditional political interview.

You can argue such a style can be seen as shambolic; confused and weak.

It invites criticism for a lack of clarity and leadership.

But Mr Corbyn's team clearly believe the conventional approach to the political interview is as out-dated as the conventional approach to Prime Ministers' Questions; that people are tired of the formulaic, sound-bite driven set-piece interview.

And who knows - perhaps they are right.

In which case we might all have to get used to doing things rather differently.

Politicians. And broadcasters.

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