A full hour and no shouting: that’s how they do interviews in Spain

Ana Pastor’s measured, intelligent El Objetivo is an object lesson to the confrontational, hurry-up British media

‘I’m afraid that’s all we’ve got time for …”: the catchphrase of British TV and radio interviewers (especially when grinding through four minutes and 20 seconds of on-air interrogation-cum-interruption). And length is a discourse problem everywhere you turn, especially as the Today programme frets its way through a fair-and-exhaustively-balanced assemblage of London mayoral candidates. But there is another way.

Last month I sat entranced through one of the Spanish La Sexta channel’s series of pre-election interviews by Ana Pastor. That week’s guest: Albert Rivera, the leader of the new Ciudadanos party. Pastor is formidably well-briefed and no patsy. Her record makes her Spain’s answer to Christiane Amanpour. She didn’t recline her way through the Rivera show: no sofa, no easy chairs. She and he sat, businesslike, on two sides of a desk.

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