Monday, March 22, 2010

Hanging Up

I don't normally go on BBC Radio London, and my experience just now reminds me why.

I've always been taught that as a radio presenter, if a guest hangs up on you, it reflects very badly on you. You've clearly failed to control the interview.

I was invited on to Eddy Nestor's programme to talk about the BA strike and strikes in general. I was told it would be just after 11.30pm. By 11.55pm I had been kept hanging on for 20 minutes and had just been told there would be another guest. Normally if I do an interview I like to know who I am going to be on with so at least I can check their backgrounds if I have never heard of them.

Anyway, Mr Nestor proceed to speak to the other chap (I never did get his name), who was a trade union academic and had written two books on strike law. Just before he came to me Nestor explained that he only really understood about strikes when he went to Nottinghamshire during the miners' strike. When he came to me he immediately displayed antagonism and seemed to me he was itching for a fight. He even got my name wrong and kept calling me Lain (as in Lane), but I've been called worse!

In situations where the interviewer gives the appearance of being antagonistic I usually reckon that attack is the best form of defence, so I outlined the BA position, calmly but firmly. Nestor then proceeded to assert that the union had been the voice of sweet reason and that the employers were looking for a war. That, I said, was the union's position - it was they who were talking in a warlike manner. And it then went on like this...

EN: You're being very antagonistic.
ID: No, I think you are.
EN: Well if you want to take me on, we can go there (with a sneer in his voice)
ID: When you have a guest on your programme, you might at least treat them with some respect.
EN: It's you who's not showing me respect.
ID: We can end it here if you like.
EN: Ok...
ID: Bye then.

Now I can accept that might not show me in a good light either, but when you go a late night programme late at night, you're not even being paid for it, the least you expect is that the interviewer might at least show you a little bit of respect. He did not, and was clearly not used to someone standing up to him. Stephen Nolan he ain't.

Just because you host a radio show, it does not give you the right to treat guests who you disagree with, with contempt.

Anyway, unless I get out of the bed on the wrong side in the morning, I will be on Radio 5 Live at 7.10am, Radio Wales at 7.30 and Radio Scotland at 8.05 - all talking about Byers and lobbying. I'll try not to hang up...


Magical_Mist said...

Is there anywhere that I can find a clip of this radio show?

Benny said...

Am I allowed to say "What a TOSSER" in your comments? Cos he is!

Colin said...

I think Nestor has to be one of the worst presenters in the history of radio, ever.

In my book, he's neck and neck with James O'Brien of LBC.

John M Ward said...

Well, as an interesting anecdote covering several items touched upon: I was once kept waiting on the line for over an hour on the Stephen Nolan radio show, and then, without warning, they hung up on me!

I was not impressed...

Just Wonderful said...

Ahhh, a good ole wanna be union boy unwilling to hear any criticism of the brave warriors determined not to have one of the best remuneration packages of any airline reduced even a little bit. Even at the cost of the whole business!

Did you listen to his reaction within the show Iain? Would be interesting to hear if he tried to make you out to be the arrogant union hating person he no doubt was trying to portray you as! :)

JuliaM said...

"EN: It's you who's not showing me respect."

Oooh, check your bed for a horse's head, Iain!

Ross said...

BBC impartiality in action.

JGS said...

The blatant bias shown by the entire BBC London operation, TV and radio, is a disgrace.

Not a sheep said...

I wouldn't worry, Eddie Nestor is so biased and poor a presentor that I stopped listening to him quite a while ago. His fake 'I want to hear what you want to say, let's chat' spiel is at odds with the reality of only letting people he agrees with speak whilst cutting short any opposing voices. Eddie Nestor makes Victoria Derbyshire appear talented and Richard Bacon professional.

info said...

Having been on both shows a number of times
, I must admit I find Eddie to be very fair .
Even when we totally disagree , he has always been polite and twice I have managed to get him to change the show direction .
O'brian uses 2 tricks Conflation and distraction with
a minor question if he is in danger of loosing , plus
cutting you off .


Ray from brixton

Mick Turatian said...

Whereas the Church of England used to be called the Tory Party at prayer, the BBC is now the Labour Party of the air!

Freebritannia said...

Never heard of Eddie Nestor but I have noticed generally that left leaning journalists, commentators and broadcasters are becoming increasing shrill, partisan & in some cases hysterical as the Great Day approaches.

Wonderful! ;o)

Hawkeye said...

Who is Eddy Nestor? Never heard of him.

trevorsden said...

Ahaa ... Sounds like this guy is best suited to talking to East Anglian farmers late at night.

Unsworth said...

Good for you. About time some of these 'presenters' - who have hugely inflated senses of their own importance - were told simply to piss off.

Let's be clear. This guy was not interested in getting a factual debate, he was interested in getting controversy. How are his ratings?

Curmy said...

I think that's a dreadful way for a BBC presenter to behave.

I've rung Radio 5 a few times and ,if they say they're going to put me on the air immediately, and I'm then kept waiting for more than 10 mins, I hang up.

I'd never ring Stephen Nolan, he's a bombastic loud mouth.

I don't know how you keep your temper when you're on his programme Iain .

albertmbankment said...

I clicked on this post to record my disdain for Stephen Nolan, and was wholly unsurprised to see that a couple of others had got there ahead of me.

He really is, in my view, one of the most conspicuously over-promoted, self-regarding, talentless 'hosts' on the radio. His preening self-importance never fails to amaze. Last weekend, for example, he was boiling over because Sussex Police did not have a spokesman on hand, on a Saturday at midnight, to give an instant response to the latest outrage of over-policing described by one of his listeners.

I'm as enraged as anyone about the surveillance state, and the complaint was real and reasonable, but Nolan's puffed-up bluster was absurd. I think that Radio Five only keep the lamentable Dotun Adebayo (who follows him at 1am) on because he makes Nolan seem almost talented.

I heard him last night, complaining about the effects of the Sport Relief run on his taut, lithe, sportsman's physique (guffaw). Hell's bells, even when he's not hosting the programme, he still contrived to have listeners reaching for the off button.

Kath said...

I was with you up until this:

Stephen Nolan he ain't.

Thank Jesus for that. Nolan is rude to people he invites on the phone, cuts them off, doesn't allow them to speak, he is pushy, puts words in their mouth etc etc. I heard the leader of the SDLP complain one time that he was held for almost a half hour, and Nolan wasn't so pleasant to him afterwards. Don't believe me, you ought to have heard Sammy Wilson (MLA) about the guy. And Sammy was well applauded for the absolutely correct comments that he made.

Nolan tries to do politics and enact public policy via radio - he thinks he can sort out the mess at Stormont inless than fifty minutes when the politicians can't do it.He is also laughable when he tries to play devils advocate.

I'm sorry Iain, but this guy has vomited on telly when he was visiting a field and tried to do farming and boked in full view of the camera, he farts and burps like its funny, and is rude to his callers.

Jesus just because someone is nice to you doesn't mean they behave like that in their own back yard.

Victor, NW Kent said...

Eddie Nestor always comes across as a dyed-in-the-wool socialist with a chip on each shoulder.

Jim Jepps said...

I've just listened again here about 1.50 in.

I have to say I took the trouble because I'm getting increasingly annoyed with presenters becoming more and more rude. However, in this case I think you may have started the interview in a bad mood and over reacted.

It seems to me that the presenter was playing devil's advocate with you and you took it the wrong way. He told the previous person that unions had declined "for good reason" it doesn't sound to me like he was biased against you, just giving you the space to bounce off the opposing view.

He apologised straight away for getting your name wrong (which can happen to anyone) and you reacted to his first question, which seemed a reasonable one, in quite an aggressive way... it all went down hill from there.

Sorry Iain. I think, on this occasion, you were wrong. But everyone can have a bad day.

Edward Sutherland said...

Well done, Iain. It's common knowledge, and totally unsurprising, that the BBC is "institutionally leftist" and you've just come up against a further manifestation of this.

Benny said...

Listening, it seemed that you were understandably angry at having to wait for so long but he then was putting such flawed arguments and getting angry when you were pointing this out.
When he apologised for you to his other guest, that really took the biscuit.

He's no Nick Abbot!

You should try BBC Cymru :p

................................. said...

P.S. wasn't Nestor a character in the Addams Family?

................................. said...

Well done Iain. He's obviously a Commie with an attitude like that. I hope they sack him for such an unedifying performance.

norman said...

Just why do we Brits who are so crewed up in our mind pay the licence fee tax to the Brown Broadcasting Corporation is beyond me. As those inbiciles who call themselves presenters in this organisation are overpaid and rude to the extreme and will not allow any other views othwer than their own. Why DC cannot make privatising this organisation one of poll mpledge is again beyond me as this would get him many many voters. If it is privatised we do not have to pay to listen to their socialist trash and rudeness. LBC sorry to say is another mouthpiece for Brown. I do not listen to it either.

Martin said...

The BBC have been sticking up for the vile Unite Union for weeks now. Why doesn't ONE thick meow meow snorting beeboid ask why the thick trolley dollies are causing all the problems when the engineers and the pilots (they do the REAL WORK) have settled with BA?

simon said...

Well done Iain, no shame in hanging up to that idiot. You were making a very reasonable point about how BA cannot run their business with militant unionist having undue influence and making completely contradictory unreasonable demands. He attacked you immediately without basis and also gave that other trade union guy far far too much time to make his arguments. Shame on the BBC and their supposed neutrality!

Martin said...

From the Guardian. Who says the BBC is biased? Now the BBC don't even bother to hide it.

"I hope the Tories don't win. Let's not beat around the bush," he says.

happyuk07 said...

@ Jim Jepps
March 22, 2010 12:32 PM

I too have just listened to the same interview and can only conclude that you are 100% incorrect. Iain Dale's version of events is quite accurate.

Nestor was clearly accusing Dale of the very thing he was guilty of.

Iain quietly expressed his own take on the matter. The more he quietly persisted, the more it to got Nestor's back up. Nestor was soon being reduced to accusing him of being antagonistic.

What's more he had not bothered to spend the few seconds required to get Iain's name right.

Nestor is a weak man that recoils at the slightest bit of disagreement. He needs to grow up and realize that people are turned off by self-deceiving behaviour like his.

Treacle said...

I've never heard of him before, but have just listened to the programme. What a vile man.