Gordon Brown couldn’t have got out of his BBC Breakfast interview quickly enough today, which didn’t go unnoticed by presenters Naga Munchetty and Charlie Stayt.
The former Prime Minister appeared live on the news show via video call from his him on North Queensferry, protesting that the government must extend or replace the furlough scheme – which was ruled out by Boris Johnson earlier this week.
All seemed to go smoothly. Gordon was smiling, there was even the odd chuckle until Gordon briefly froze and the interview had to come to an end.
But the moment Charlie and Naga waved the former labour leader on his way, Gordon was off.
The laptop closed and the connection gone because Gordon has places to be and he’s not hanging around for chit-chat.
‘There we go. That’s definitely over,’ Charlie awkwardly chuckled. ‘That ended.’
And Naga’s face said it all as she jumped back in her seat.
After several reports Naga has upset BBC bosses again for moonlighting with a series of Natwest ads, the 45-year-old let her wardrobe do the talking this week as she was seen unfazed, puffing on a cigarette and championing the banner ‘I’m not for everyone’ across a casual grey jumper.
Message to the trolls? We’d bet on it.
The Natwest fiasco was Naga’s second warning from the Beeb in recent weeks after she was criticised for appearing in a corporate video for Aston Martin too.
A spokesperson for the BBC said: ‘Since this event, Naga has been reminded of the risk of conflict of interest when undergoing external engagements.
‘We are developing clearer direction in this area as part of our wider work on impartiality and will have more to say on that in due course.’
Tim Davie is the new Director-General of the BBC, and in his introductory speech, he drilled in the importance of impartiality.
Davie said that this would not involve ‘abandoning democratic values such as championing fair debate or an abhorrence of racism’, but is ‘about being free from political bias, guided by the pursuit of truth, not a particular agenda’.
Naga, however, has a no-nonsense approach to dealing with critics, particularly those comes for her on Twitter.
‘I have rather, shall we say, an assertive way, of dealing with people who abuse me on Twitter. ‘I don’t like it, I won’t put up with it,’ she explained during a recent appearance on Radio Five Live.
‘People saying anything on Twitter, they would never say to your face. Not that I’m inviting anyone to say anything horrible to my face in real life – just don’t say anything horrible to me.’
BBC Breakfast airs weekdays at 6am on BBC One.
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