23 Oct 2014

10 things about that Richard Ayoade interview

You never really know what is going to go viral but Richard Ayoade on Richard Ayoade certainly has.  Millions of people have now watched and discussed and read about it (and if you haven’t – here it is).

Here are a few brief thoughts of my own:

1. It wasn’t ever going to be an interview about Richard. Richard’s book is a joke, not an autobiography.

2. I knew Richard wouldn’t answer real questions about himself so decided to make the interview about the promotional interview. That’s why I said what I would normally do in an interview like this.

3. I chose to pick on diversity as the “serious” topic, but it could have been anything. It was merely a vehicle.

4. Norwegians are arguably as important a minority as Nigerians. But that isn’t really why I asked that question.

5. I had hoped Richard might then be tempted into saying something real about diversity. But he didn’t. On the other hand, I did.

6. Interviewing famous people about their latest project is a bit like commuting for me too. Nobody enjoys it. It is just a mostly inescapable part of getting an interview with an artist or celebrity.

7. Richard had said in advance that if he came onto Channel 4 News he’d like to be interviewed by me. We suspected this was because he wanted to talk about my encounter with Tarantino. He highlighted the thing I’ve always thought most interesting about that too : the fury of a man who only wants his side of the Faustian pact.

8. The “essential lie of the interview situation” was a profound conclusion. I wish we’d had another four minutes to explore it. Normally we pre-record interviews like this. But this time it was live – and had an extra energy and sense of jeopardy because of that.

9. A surprising number of people, especially journalists, seem to have misunderstood that this was not awkward, or “Ayoade v Guru-Murthy”. It wasn’t him taking me on, or turning the tables, or being rude. We were having a laugh.

10. I thought it was the perfect joke interview, in which the guest, the interviewer and the viewers were all in on a joke that actually had something serious to say too.

Richard Ayoade interview

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