Thursday, January 17, 2008

Telegraph Launches Weekly "Right On" Politics Show

Today Telegraph TV is launching a new weekly politics show, with a definite right of centre bias, called RIGHT ON. It lasts twelve minutes and consists of three sections - a discussion between Andrew Pierce and Ann Widdecombe, HEFFER CONFRONTED, in which I confront Simon Heffer about the contents of his latest column and WESTMINSTER WHISPERS, where Andrew Pierce takes a gossipy look at the Westminster Village. Each section is viewable on its own. This is HEFFER CONFRONTED

To view the whole 12 minute RIGHT ON programme click HERE.


Anonymous said...

You and Heffer - fantastic.
Widdecombe and Pierce - not so much.
Westminster Whispers - needs a video editor/production team who know what they are doing. Production values were rather amateurish.

Anonymous said...

Oh God- it's 'right on' is it? Trying to be 'kool' are they? Cringe. Just like one has to endure the cringe-worthy 'acid-house' lite of the Jock politics show on BBC2! Yuk! I want all this 'trying to make politics kool for the kids' to STOP right now! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

You and Heffer can't be sat face to face otherwise you'd end up tied to each others thighs ! You must be 'offset' so you are just both going to be staring straight ahead and not at each other..

I smell another fakery scandal coming on...

Guido Fawkes said...

Most of Pierce's stuff seemed familiar...

Newmania said...

Damn your black heart Dale.I `d love to watch but its tricky to be "working" with what I hope are your stern admonitions echoing though the office .

I shall assume your drop kicked fatty Heffer into a cocked hat and seek confirmation later.He is terribly over rated.He churns out colourful spleen by the bucket load but don`t we all?

strapworld said...

Sorry, Iain. Sky did this format years ago with TARGET where Austin Mitchell and Norman Tebbit grilled a guest in a tri formation.

Constructive criticism! See a voice coach to lower your tone. That would give you more gravitas. At the moment you do sound, without wishing to be unkind,as if your voice is about to break.

It was a battle of the triple chins!

John M Ward said...

Well, I liked it, apart from the wide variations in sound level and quality in "Whispers". That needs to be sorted out when the segment is edited together.

As long as it's in addition to what's already out there, and not instead of something, I can't see any reason to object to it. As always with new productions, it'll take a few goes to knock it fully into shape, but that's fine.

Alan Douglas said...

Iain, Your section with Heffer was excellent, apart from the noice in the edit-breaks. Sounds like a clanger being dropped, which I think a trifle unfortunate !

Alan Douglas

Anonymous said...

Blimey! That's a serious tonnage of double chins. I hope all four are privately funded.

Anonymous said...

You kids
seem to have discovered Christmas
and some new toys to play with
Please get over it soonest
Don't be seduced
or is it too late
it's all about the story

JohnofScribbleSheet said...

You 2 were awfully close.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was fine. The presenter was relaxed and professional.
I assume Pierce's cameraman was drunk and wonder whether Heffer's breath was as rank as his opinions.

Anonymous said...

I felt a bit uncomfortable watching you invading each others personal space. Is that really necessary?

Iain Dale said...

Perhaps I should explain that when we are filmed we are sitting about 3 feet apart. When they edit it, they bring us together for artistic effect....I suppose!

Anonymous said...

I think Heffer gave a fairly good account of himself, actually. I'm even further away from his views on most issues than you are, but he had a point when he said politics is being debased by professional politicians who've never done anything outside politics. Obviously you don't fall into that category yourself, but still. Hopefully next time he'll come up with a load of shite, so you'll have an easier time ;)

Anonymous said...

excellent show, on the most part professionally done. We cant expect the kind of broadcasting quality that we get from the BBC and ITV. Their stuff maybe bland editorially, but it is produced to the highest standard in the world. Nice try though, the audio on the outside broadcast near the end though, needed to be levelled. The switiching of mics was as obvious as the grinding of gears on a rusty old morris minor.

Anonymous said...

It gives me no particular pleasure to say this but the fact is that Heffer came across as a man with his feet confidently planted on solid ground and ID as one with little to confront him with. In her 15 seconds at the end Widdecombe provided more by way of effective confrontation than ID managed.

Anonymous said...

The presenter of this was being rythmically poked up the bottom with a stick, but like a true pro, carried on.

It rattled on to quickly to take in. It was not an interview - it was a questionnaire.

Is it in your contract that you have to sit on Heffer's lap?

Dear God, get somebody to direct this or your media career will be over.

Anonymous said...

Dear God, it looks like Iain is sitting legs-astride on Heffer's lap, like an aggressive kid turning on Santa at the grotto. I feel ill.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it would be more successful if made into a PS3 game, with interchangeable weapons.

Anonymous said...

OT - check out Boulton filling wildly on Sky News from the PM's plan at the mo...........

Newmania said...

Oh savage Iain , you really dug your claws into him... like a playful kitten ...didn`t you. Well I do think you might have given him a harder time for what was a lazy and faintly porcine article blustering on about the bleedin obvious
What is Heffer suggesting,we go back to the 19th century( well the 1950s really) and only have the rich and connected in parliament? Why should MP`s not make a living ? I think they should be paid more but there should be less of them starting with most Scottish MPs who have nothing to do and if we get English votes will be an utter waste of space.
Also no-one think Hain was dishonest just stupid and lazy he doesn`t have the brains for a life of crime.Shouldn`t Conservatives be saying we won`t do this holy proly nonsense ,incompetence will do which does not require Heffer fulminating like a Queeny Old Testament prophet
More fur flying please , ya` know you want to

John M Ward said...

My only thought is that, mif it had been intended to be a deliberate take-off of the "Smith and Jones" head-to-heads (which were brilliant, by the way) then the "fat guy" would have been on the left -- and, politically, I think that would also have been more accurate anyway.

Nevertheless, the format works in its own way, and is certainly something I have never seen before.

Okay, this first outing was understandably fairly tame, but now it has been tried I believe there is plenty of scope for making this something well worthy of discussion in various forums (or fora!) and I look forward to all of that.

I agree with those who have said in these comments that Heffer came across (perhaps surprisinglky) well; but it has to be realised that he knew what was coming, and had the advantage of being the respondent, which anyone who has been in a similar situation will no doubt realise is an easier position in this kind of situation.

It doesn't really matter at this early stage. We all need to give this a chance to find its feet and see whether it has value longer term. I suspect it will grow to have that value.

The Daily Pundit said...

Talk about niche markets! You've managed to outdo The International Trepanation Advocacy Group.


Now where did I put that drill.....

Anonymous said...

I won't be watching. I used to get the Telegraph most days, but I switched to the Times after reading his odious drivel a couple of times. I'll come back when he gets sacked.

Daily Referendum said...

I enjoyed it and I was left smiling at the end. Is Heffer the silent majority?

Anonymous said...

Newmania said:-

I think they should be paid more but there should be less of them starting with most Scottish MPs who have nothing to do and if we get English votes will be an utter waste of space."

Unfortunately, Newmania, we Scots have a hell of a lot to do just looking after your affairs in the sassenach parliament!

Until you lot can produce folk of the correct calibre to run your country,I am afraid that we will have to continue ruling your lot down there!

Anonymous said...

Oh God. Why do TV production people all seem to believe that a presenter can't talk about what's coming up (or read the headlines) without drums bashing away in the background? And why was it necessary to mark the cuts in your piece with that noise on the soundtrack? And what on earth did the use of a wobbly-cam and death by a thousand cuts add to the Westminster Whispers piece?

They haven't hired some muppet from the BBC to oversee production, have they?

Not sure I'll be watching again if that's an example of the production style.


Anonymous said...

So Loose women has changed from Itv has it ?

Devil's Kitchen said...

Hmmm, the director should be shot. One of the reasons that Smith and Jones's head to head worked was because they occasionally looked at the audience, which made them feel included: this didn't do that.

Further, as soon as the conversation got interesting, we got yet another incredibly clumsy cut.

May I suggest that the Telegraph gets some people in who have at least a modicum of directing experience: I know several who wouldn't charge a fortune...


M. Hristov said...

I posted the following on a different part of the blog but it is more appropriate here.

I have just caught “Heffer Confronted”. It starts with a fantastic title sequence, which shows Iain and S. Heffer looking like two sumo wrestlers “squaring up” to each other in front of Big Ben.

Iain then decided to defend professional politicians. Next week I understand that he is to defend the late Pol Pot.

Luckily, for Iain, S. Heffer totally “blew it” by “going over the top”. Describing the Conservative Party as neo-socialists and saying that politicians couldn’t get a job “ playing the piano in a brothel”. A. Widdecombe was very unimpressed. I can’t imagine her applying for any job in a brothel (the thought is just too painful).

S. Heffer obviously believes he lives in “the real world” and that politicians do not. I have news for him. “The real world” is not a place where you can write whatever you like in a newspaper column without fear of retribution, because the very politicians you deride are too scared of your influence. “The real world” is heavily regulated, not policed by your own kind, who always let you off. “The real world” is not “The Garrick Club”, where, judging by your tie, you often “hang out”. When you have been in “the real world” perhaps you will be qualified to comment on it.

Never mind “Alas Smith and Jones”. S. Heffer increasingly resembles General Melchett in “Blackadder Goes Forth”.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, it was painfully obvious that Messrs Dale & Heffer were not facing each other. Therefore, by pretending to do something they weren't, they were seeking to deceive the viewer. That's not conducive to the idea that these gentlemen are honest brokers of their opinions.

Gents, please don't fake it. Either sit right up in each other's faces or don't.

Anonymous said...

It was all quite enjoyable actually, and very kind of them to consider the blind by hiring that Andrew bloke to read Guido's blog out loud.

Anonymous said...

Iain, I enjoy both the style and the substance of your media contributions. Please keep up the good work.

I am sorry to say that this production for the Telegraph left a lot to be desired.

For starters, please can the film be made longer - by about 5-10 times, say? I know it's the first and all that, but the film I viewed did not allow enough time to do justice to the issues you were discussing. Quite the opposite: it felt very much too short, almost to the point of being "soundbites".

In terms of the "feel" of the segment, IMHO the format used by Head2Head on BBC News24 feels more natural; less contrived. There is simply no need to have you represented as being so close together - especially since it is so clear that your apparent proximity is physically impossible.

Instead please insist to the producers that your appearance is reasonably natuaral and businesslike. It's quite reasonable in the context of a discussion to have some sort of table between you - even if it's something hilariously incongruous like a dining room table or a coffee shop table.

I apologise for what looks like a stream of negativity, but my intention is benign, I promise.

So with that said, a final point, if I may. Please ask the producers to film your face from some angle other than side-on. It looks somewhat unnatural - IMHO anyone who is listening to a person speak will naturally want to incline themselves to see as much of the face as possible.

All of these points are important in making the film attractive to watch, but the time point is the most important. After all, if we want soundbites (which we don't) we can watch the 6pm or 10pm news bulletins on the telly.

Anonymous said...

HEFFER CONFRONTED, top notch banter

will you be doing podcasts?

tbh if this ever was an attempt at "trying to make politics kool for the kids" as simon at 10:18 put it, id suggest it seriously fails to get "down wit da kids" in any way

... but I enjoyed it for my mid-evening tea break.

Hopefully more intense next time with hard issues. Hopefully it becomes something really good.

Hey said...

Firstly - you appear to be physically closer than Simon than I tend to be when I'm "with" my girlfriend. Though thankfully your respective profiles demonstrate that you are nowhere near as close as you are made to seem.

Secondly - both of you should be placed on a strict diet. Was that an argument or a contest to see who had the most chins? At some points you both seemed to be tucking your heads back so as to have even more chins! I suggest ashtanga yoga, walking, and acquiring an intestinal bug - that combination had me drop more than 50 pounds, including 10 over the holidays! Of course I truly only needed to lose maybe 15, but whatever.

Thirdly - we need politicians to be there for interest's sake, rather than venal considerations. Nearly all are professionals who have spent a lifetime on the public payroll in some form and who will go on suckling at the government's teat through positions on quangos after they have been deservedly turfed by the voters or finally caught in the commission of one of their many crimes. Make all politicians cover their own expenses, funded by instantly visible donations and mandatory chage card use. We'll see who is truly interested and who can truly gain the public's support when they have to cover the cost of their entire operation - flats, advisors, advertising, etc. Combine this with minimum fines of 10M pounds and a minimum 25 year sentence for any breaches or late filing and politics will be much redeemed.

Not all criminals are politicians - I wouldn't slander criminals like that, since so many are simply providing services that the government disapproves of. But all politicians are inherently criminal, malevolent, and disturbed.

4x4 the people said...

Heffer's photo in the DT has always reminded me of an andouilette that someone has dressed up in a little suit, glasses and wig as a joke.

Full of tripe and reeks of bile.

In profile even more so. I cant imagine the mess should he ever burst with apoplexy. You had a lucky escape standing so close to him.

Anonymous said...

That presenter - or was it two different presenters? was so wriggly I wanted to scratch my back through cyberspace because he was TOO CLOSE. If he was any more self-regardingly wriggly and "relaxed" yet "intense" he'd have drilled a hole through the floor. Too bad he didn't.

Regarding you and Heffer really being 3' apart and being moved together through the magic of television, I too felt it uncomfortable, not to say revolting. Talk about distracting.

I literally don't remember a word that was said, even by Anne Widdecombe, who is one of my favourite politicians, because everyone's self regarding ticks bursting out of their wriggling, sincere shirt collars and sincere, not to say VIVID, looks to camera were so distracting.

More shoulder work and wriggly neck collar work.

My God! What a bloody awful show! It's worse than Mexican TV, and I never thought I would make such a claim sober.