Feb. 20th, 2017

sawyl: (A self portrait)
The sad but not entirely unexpected news that Steve Hewlett has died. Always an excellent interviewer on The Media Show, he also turned out to be a brilliant interviewee and his conversations with Eddie Mair on PM were essential listening.

The interviews often felt like eavesdropping on two old friends having a chat, with Steve talking about his illness and Eddie keeping things on track with an occasional comment or a joke. A few weeks ago their interview was derailed when Steve's drip started beeping like crazy and rather than edit it out they kept the fumbling around in the background, and, once the problem was under control and the conversation resumed, they got back to talking about the state of Steve's failing liver and, I think, his sudden decision to get married.

With hindsight it's now clear that last week's interview, in which Eddie Mair asked Steve whether he had anything he still wanted to get of his chest was something of a swansong. As insightful and sharp as ever and with nothing to lose, Steve talked about his concerns for the BBC and gave the government both barrels; he didn't name names but it was clear who he was talking about and how he thought they'd fallen down on the job. He even expressed a hope to present The Media Show one last time. It's a real shame we're not going to get that...

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