James Forsyth

Cameron’s low reward interview with Paxo

Cameron's low reward interview with Paxo
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David Cameron is recording his interview with Jeremy Paxman at 5.15 today, it’ll air at 8.30. Cameron didn’t want to do this interview. Originally, Clegg was the only leader to agree to be interviewed by Paxman. But after the first debate, Brown said yes and the Tories decided that Cameron couldn’t be the only party leader not to do it.

There is, of course, history between Paxman and Cameron. When Paxo interviewed Cameron during the 2005 leadership contest, Cameron turned the tables on Paxman spectacularly, attacking the whole Paxman school of interviewing. Cameron’s approach in 2005 was previewed by a very funny piece by Michael Gove in The Times which imagined Paxman interviewing Jesus.  

The problem for Cameron is that if he aces the interview, it’ll only be really noticed in the Westminster Village. But if Paxman asks him the same question 14 times without reply, it’ll be replayed endlessly. It is essentially a high risk, low reward interview.