19 November 2010

Was the royal engagement interviewer more nervous than his interviewees?

It was quite a coup for Tom Bradby, ITN's political editor, to be favoured by Prince William and Kate Middleton for the first interview after the announcement of their engagement (as for why they chose him, see HERE).

The couple also did viewers a favour by sparing us from having to watch either of the Dimbleby brothers, let alone rival BBC or Sky News political editors, Nick Robinson or Adam Boulton, doing the job.

Who was the most nervous of them all?
But I was surprised to see various interviews with Mr Bradby about his encounter with them, in which he told us how nervous the couple had been during the interview - because there were a number of places where he seemed more nervous than either of his iterviewees.

This was especially evident in the way he giggled as he put some of the more 'delicate' questions.

Take, for example this one about whether they plan to have lots of children - to which Prince William's response is rather more assured than Bradby's question:

More giggles, a few pauses and hesitations came from Mr Bradby when he asked Miss Middleton about what it had been like meeting the Queen for the first time - to which her reply is rather more fluent than his question:

These are only two examples of something evident in quite a number of Mr Bradby's questions during the interview and on which I've blogged about before, namely what conversation analysts call 'pre-delicate hitches' (see links below for more examples).

Taken together, they gave the impression that he was much more nervous and less confident than he usually is when interviewing politicians.

Anyone interested in exploring this further can watch the whole interview below and/or access a transcript of it HERE.


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