“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed,” goes the old quote. “Everything else is public relations.”
In the following video, that idea is explored for a full four eye-clawing minutes as Richard Ayoade and Krishnan Guru Murthy embark on what can only be described as one of the most awkward celebrity interviews of recent times.
It’s worth watching in its full awful glory, but Guru-Murthy’s first mistake is asking Ayoade to lead his own interview. It’s a riff on Ayoade’s new book (‘Ayoade on Ayoade’) that the comedian uses to derail the entire segment. He compares such interviews to “commuting: I accept it as a part of this, but no one loves it” and refuses to play along.
As each question is bluntly rebutted, Guru-Murthy moves from awkward perseverance to hysterical laughter until eventually he breaks down and gives the game away:
“You know what happens now, normally in an interview like this I ask you a few questions about your book, because that’s what you’re trying to sell,” the newsreader sighs, likely flashing back to his equally disastrous interview with Quentin Tarantino in 2013. “I’m not allowed to promote your book because of broadcasting rules, so I then ask you something serious.”
“Which I will parry,” Ayoade shoots back. The whole affair groans on until, at last, it ends. “Richard thank you very much indeed,” Kirshnan lies.
“Don’t thank me,” says my smirking nightmare. “I’ve done nothing for you.”