LBC host explains Boris Johnson's odd gesture during interview after online speculation

PUBLISHED: 11:05 29 November 2019 | UPDATED: 13:05 29 November 2019

Boris Johnson makes the signal to Nick Ferrari after being challenged on social care. Photograph: LBC.

Boris Johnson makes the signal to Nick Ferrari after being challenged on social care. Photograph: LBC.

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LBC has clarified what happened on air after Boris Johnson made a hand gesture that sparked online speculation while he fielded calls from the public with host Nick Ferrari.

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The radio show, which is also filmed, shows the prime minister slicing his finger across his neck with a look of deep irritation as he struggles with a question on his party's social care policy, prompting some to ask whether he was trying to get Ferrari to move the topic on.

Soon after that, the host said: "Let's move to other matters."

But later in the show, Johnson insisted there was a good explanation for the signal and Ferrari has since tweeted an explanation.

Since the show went off air, Johnson's inability to answer the question on social care became a top item on Sky News.

Later in the show, Johnson and Ferrari said that the gesture stemmed from a technical issue Ferrari was having with his headphones, and Johnson was suggesting he turn them off.

Boris Johnson spotted the footage being played back off-screen, and explained: "That was only because I was imitating you [Ferrari]".

Ferrari agreed, saying: "I know, because someone was talking to me so loudly," and pointed to his headphones.

"We now have throat-gate," he said, as the pair laughed at the gaffe.

Twitter users spotting the gesture anddeveloped theories of their own.

Twitter account Parody Boris Johnson, who shared the now-viral clip, said: "Oops! I forgot I was being filmed when I gave my old mate Nick Ferrari the secret signal to change the subject."

The Independent's Jon Stone said: "It's often said the Tories play politics on Easy Mode but this is if anything playing on Cheat Mode."

While Guardian feature writer Simon Hattenstone said: "So this is Boris Johnson's idea of accountability when being grilled on LBC and asked a question on costing social care that he ain't got a clue how to answer.

"He can't retain anything - not even the fact that he is being filmed."

Writer Emma Kennedy said: "I mean. It's always nice being interviewed by your pals, isn't it?"

Quite a few commentators likened the change in his face to an iconic moment at the end of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Writer Aaron Gillies said: "He looks exactly like Bilbo when he sees that Frodo has the ring."

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