Every interview is a balancing act between asking the hard questions that get interesting answers and not offending your interviewee. The problem is you’ve got no real idea where that line is, it’s a constant game of interpreting and approximation, feeding off each question.
Alternately, you could ask whatever the stuff you want, and if they walk out, well in a weird way, that’s a bonus, because nothing will draw more attention to your otherwise everyday interview than your interviewee storming out in a great big huff.
But like anything, there are good storm outs and bad ones. If you spend twenty minutes trying to take your mic off, it somewhat takes the the wind out of your sails.
That’s why we’ve compiled this handy guide to storming out of interviews.
Malik Yoba vs The Root
Let’s start us off with a classic mistake. If you get asked questions about matters where guilt or innocence does not so much matter once the accusation has been levied, you absolutely do not want to pour PR fuel on the thing by staging a walk-out. Abort, abort!
Tommy Davis vs Martin Bashir
Now let’s work on your technique. Never, ever tell your interviewer you’re about to walk out. If you do, as Bashir can be seen doing here, he can play the journalistic integrity card — making you look like an unreasonable hysterical weirdo. Oh wait sorry, you’re a Scientologist, pretty much got that covered already.
The Beegees vs Clive Anderson
This is a textbook walk out. In fact it’s beyond textbook. Anyone looking to walk out of an interview should follow exactly what Maurice Gibb does here. He stands up, cool as non-e coli infected cucumber, doesn’t faff with his mic, tells Anderson he’s a tosser, says night to the audience and strutts, like a woman’s man, off the stage. Unfortunately he leaves Barry still sat there and Robin messing with his mic. If you come as a group you have to leave a group.
Graham Stanier vs Sky News anchor
Usually when someone walks out of an interview it’s about them. In this instance the interview wasn’t even about The Jeremy Kyle Show councillor Graham Stanier, he was merely a pundit talking about Alfie Patent, the 13-year-old who didn’t father a baby. But the mere mention of the words Jeremy Kyle is enough to send Stanier scurrying back down whichever dark hole he crawled out of.
S Club 7 vs Claudia Winkleman
This is without doubt the weirdest interview walk out you will see. As opposed to the interviewees, four of the S Club gang, deciding they’ve had enough, their PR storms into the studio and tells them they’ve had enough and that they’re off. And like the obedient little sheep they are, off they slope back to their pop music stasis chambers.
Mark Lawson vs Russell Crowe
The much-hailed radio walkout. Easily the hardest walk out to achieve. How do the listeners know you’ve walked out? Well, Crowe gives a masterclass here. It’s about talking throughout so that your voice becomes audibly weaker, conveying a growing distance between you and the mic. Listen to Crowe’s perfect example.