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Terry Wogan once said that people weren't interested in watching interviewees get a hard time on television. Well they were during the 1960s, as this chat show proved. Interviewer John Freeman wasn't exactly the most gentle host - his technique was to probe and interrogate his subject. In one notorious show, he caused Gilbert Harding to cry. But unlike the modern trend for shows which encourage confrontation in a very banal and even lewd way, Freeman's angle was a measured and intellectual one with the objective of producing truth and insight into character, rather than the trite entertainment of more recent times.
Michael Parkinson is often hailed as the best interviewer in British chat show history. I can't help but feel that this show has been sadly forgotten about, and that John Freeman's technique was destined to be adopted by future political interviewers, while chat shows in general became increasingly banal, flummery celebrity floss.
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