'Dinosaur' John Humphrys criticised over interview on climate change

PUBLISHED: 09:13 30 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:20 30 April 2019

John Humphrys interviews Ed Miliband. Photograph: BBC.

John Humphrys interviews Ed Miliband. Photograph: BBC.


Radio 4 presenter John Humphrys has been criticised for displaying "dinosaur" characteristics as he interviewed former Labour leader Ed Miliband about tackling climate change.

Listeners accused the veteran broadcaster of displaying “climate change denial”, “belligerence” and “bizarre hectoring” in the ten minute interview which aimed to question Miliband about his new cross-party group to tackle “climate appeasement” from the establishment.

Announcing the taskforce, Miliband said: “We face a climate emergency. Climate change is the biggest threat to our economic and social well-being, and to our national security.

“Politics needs to be on a war footing to deal with this enemy but too often it sends the message that business as usual will do.

“We need a revolution in political leadership; the problem we face is not just climate denial but climate appeasement.

Radio 4's Today programme - presented by John Humphrys - is seen as showing bias. Picture: ContributedRadio 4's Today programme - presented by John Humphrys - is seen as showing bias. Picture: Contributed

“This commission brings together people from all walks of life, generations and political parties to bring about the solutions we need.”

But a cynical Humphrys on the Today programme told the politician that the UK “produces less than 1% of total emissions” and appeared to sympathise with those who believed he should “take the message to China”.

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The hectoring Today programme presenter was criticised for wanting to know whether it meant eating less red meat, whether he could still continue with his holidays, and whether he would be taxed more.

One Twitter user said: “Why would @BBCr4today allow someone who isn't prepared to do slightest amount of research or have even baseline knowledge to “discuss” (I use the word loosely) such an important topic vital to all our survival?”

Jill Laudet said: “John Humphrys negative, confrontational and lazy approach, including talking over, was truly shameful. First time ever, have complained to DG [director general].”

Others pointed out the contrasting interview style to an interview shortly after with foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Ruth Ibegbuna said: “John Humphrys this morning was offensive on: Slavery, Nigeria, climate change.

“He only seemed in his comfort zone and happy when joking with Jeremy Hunt about both mixing up China & Japan.”

Briefcase Michael tweeted: “What a huge difference in tone between John Humphrys' aggressive interview of Ed Miliband and his chucklefest with Jeremy Hunt.”

Humphrys is expected to retire from Radio 4 at the end of the year.

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