29 of the Worst Media Interviews of All Time

We’ve decided to update our ‘worst media interviews of all time’ post.  Please do suggest new additions as we plan to constantly update this thread.

As a public relations agency, we often organise media training to help clients prepare for interviews both on and off camera. These videos illustrate classic examples of what can go wrong and show why the right preparation counts. Use this as a guide on what not to do, but also as a reference for things to be mindful of when preparing for heightened press attention.

Have a more cringeworthy video to share? Let us know in the comments here, or get in contact if you want to discuss reputation management and targeted media training sessions. (Also, thanks to  Josh Rose for his earlier contributions)


Protip: never debate with Will Self, even on a subject that you both agree on,  for fear of him making you look like a dribbling idiot.  Here Tory MP Chris Philip took the high risk strategy of going head to head on an issue that they disagreed on. Watch the video as he gets monstered.

At time of posting, Terry Wogan had sadly died, so to honour him I’ve updated this post to include Terry’s legendary interview with David Icke. Just watch!

Was it poorly executed sarcasm? Was it tiredness? Cara Delevingne’s interview with Good Day Sacramento didn’t go too well

It’s an oldie but a goodie… Here the Green Party’s Natalie Bennett gives an ‘excruciating’ radio interview


Former Republican party candidate Christine O’Donnell struggles to deal with Piers Morgan’s posh passive aggression.


A mayor forgets to turn off mic during bathroom break.


While we are on the subject, here are more videos of politicians leaving their mics on…


Robert Downey Jr walks out of Channel 4 interview but is does Kristian Guru Murthy cross the line?


It is probably best not to talk over your interviewee and be sexist. This Lebanese TV hosts shuts down angry interviewee.


When you interview someone it is best to make sure you are interviewing the right person. In this interview BBC news interviews the wrong person. #Fail.


It is probably best if you don’t give your colleague the finger live on air. Here a BBC weatherman swears on camera.


Please don’t be sexist during an interview (or at any time). John Lydon does a sexist interview.


Just don’t do a Tony Abbott.  He is a case study of what not to do. Ever.


“There’s a good fellow.” UKIP’s Godfrey Bloom condescends to his interviewer

Don’t bother with insincere apologies, or letting other people make them for you

If surprised by a journalist, buy time in a more sophisticated way than this…

In the face of a crisis, “no comment” is not an option

Never go head to head with Paxman (unless you are really, really confident)

If you are going to fabricate a PR story, at least prepare some ready responses

Sensitive subjects demand sensitivity

Journalists will notice when you fail to answer the question

You know what they say about failing to prepare? Know the facts

When speaking candidly, check your microphone is off

Don’t worry, even professional presenters get it wrong

If you are going to apologise, do it properly

(as suggested by the E-Word)

Remember Sarah Palin? No media fail montage would be complete without her(Kindly suggested by one Richard Frost)

Try not to go on and off message
(With thanks to Sean Fleming)

Unless you’re Boris Johnson, don’t swear  (make sure there aren’t any kids in earshot for this one)

(Cheers to Lakey from Econsultancy for this contribution)

Being brave and pugnacious is all well and good, but maybe not in this situation?

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