We’ve decided to update our ‘worst media interviews of all time’ post. Please 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)
Grumpy Hugh Grant at the Oscars
Hugh ignores all PR advice and breaks a number of media training rules, but he will probably turn it around when he turns it around with his next public appearance. We watched through our fingers but also secretly admired his honesty.
Kay vs Mick
We debated whether this is a bad media interview and it’s not really, it’s actually rather splendid with many, many talking points and there are a lot of learnings for both parties here. Despite this not being a bad interview per se we posted it here to keep it forever because we love it so much.
Losing control and dropping the F-Bomb on Breakfast TV is not a Good Look
When Piers met Rudy Giuliani on breakfast TV, this spectacular disaster took place. There is no advice here from us. Just watch it and enjoy.
Unfortunate Warren East, CEO of Rolls-Royce, Appears to Lose Concentration and Comes Across as Arrogant and Uncaring
It is amazing how a few small details really snowball into a PR disaster for Warren. Find out more here.
Lorraine Kelly goes Rogue on Jennifer Arcuri
Watch this spectacular beasting through your fingers.
Prince Andrew’s now legendary Newsnight interview is not for the fainthearted.
Not only is this a bad interview, with many appalling moments, there is a lack of humility and empathy, compounded by what we think is terrible PR advice.
Kay Burley empty chairs Tory Chairman James Cleverly on Sky News
Mr Cleverly didn’t come off well… Click the box to watch the video.
Beefy Botham comes across badly with an aggressive approach
Ian Botham shoots himself in the foot whilst discussing a new charity initiative. Aggressive and patronising isn’t a good tone of voice on anyone.
Sainsbury’s boss is caught singing before going on air
Keeping prices low for consumers? Sainsbury’s boss caught singing ‘We’re In The Money’ before an interview on multi-billion pound merger with ASDA.
Abbott’s car crash interview on LBC
Dianne Abbot is the Jacob Rees-Mogg of TV interview gaffs. Both have been noticeably invisible during the 2019 electoral campaign due to their ability for public self humiliation.
Professor Robert Kelly’s kids are comedy gold
Professor Robert Kelly was talking about South Korea live on BBC News when he was hilariously interrupted by his two children.
Key message recall and delivery is vital
Knowing your message before going on live TV is a must. But Tory MP Chloe Smith shows here that sticking to your talking points, sometimes, just isn’t enough.
Will Self will always make you look feeble
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.
Terry Wogan”s Classic interview of David Icke
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!
Sometimes people come across as weird
Was it poorly executed sarcasm? Was it tiredness? Cara Delevingne’s interview with Good Day Sacramento didn’t go too well
Even the green party can’t avoid the Bad Media Interviews Blog Post
It’s an oldie but a goodie… Here the Green Party’s Natalie Bennett gives an ‘excruciating’ radio interview
Piers Morgan’s posh passive aggression is tough to handle
Former Republican party candidate Christine O’Donnell struggles to deal with Piers Morgan’s posh passive aggression.
Remember when US presidents were *just* incompetent? Bush may have done zero prep, but at least he admits it.
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?
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.
Don’t like the question? Get outta there!
So you’ve contaminated the water supply? Don’t forget to stay hydrated during the interview.
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
If you are going to fabricate a PR story, at least prepare some ready responses
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?
Gerry Harvey makes light of Covid-19 on Australia’s 60 minutes with show, in a comment that was far too soon for the sensitive situation.Tags: interview, media training, pr, Public Relations Posted by