All I ask

I was interviewed this week by a web site, and the whole encounter consisted of just two questions.

Good ones too. Not the usual “how did you get in to radio?”

The only thing better than interviewing someone, as I have to do on my radio shows, is being interviewed yourself. I love it. Some interviewers do their homework, others don’t bother, and sussing out which is which is a great game that I’ve loved playing for years.

The great Scottish broadcaster and funny man Hardeep Singh Kohli gave a memorable answer to an interviewer from BBC Radio WM in Birmingham when he realised the bloke hadn’t bothered reading his newly published book that he had given up time to talk about. He stood, took off his headphones and said “this isn’t working for me” before walking out live on air. Quite right too. Protests from the presenter of “Come on, you know how this works,” just made the show and the station sound pathetic.

Being interviewed is sometimes difficult when the person asking the questions is, well, a bit thick. As the interviewee you find yourself working really hard to turn things in to something approaching interesting. Being asked for the tenth time “What’s your favourite colour” might make you go off and talk about politics, obesity or sex just to make things interesting for the audience. Of course you can land yourself in trouble, especially if you end up admitting to having had sex with an overweight politician.

Some people I know change their answers every time, simply making things up on the spot. Ask a pop star the meaning of a new song and he might say “it’s my take on the socio political enmity that proto Brits arriving as immigrants experience in the UK” to one interviewer, then later he’ll tell another “it’s about my love of chocolate digestives dunked in hot milk.”

Anyway, back to the chat with the web site that is dedicated to a burning question I have never been asked before in thirty years of being interviewed. When I was first asked the question I laughed out loud, but I treated it seriously. The query, which takes up the whole web site with around four hundred people so far answering it, is this. What do you prefer on your bacon butty - Ketchup or Brown sauce. Brilliant and important don’t you think? I answered truthfully, then I was asked which my wife preferred, and that was it. Done. Dusted. It was a happy encounter.

The fact someone took the time to set up a web site for this fascinates me, and it’s one of the reasons our current average use of data is currently 2GB per month but is predicted to go up to 20GB within four years.

The fact the web site owner works for a mobile ‘phone company may have something to do with it. He’s creating markets for data, boosting his company’s profits and his own bonus. I hope so. Good luck to him.

Ketchup or Brown Sauce is a much more entertaining question than “how did you get in to radio.”