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Read this: Inside the Tory TV showdowns

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Inside the Tory TV showdowns…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts, this is the media show from BBC Radio 4 and Liz truss roof the final round of the Conservative Party leadership contest penny Mordaunt is out and conservative party members will pick the new prime minister and their decisions may be influenced by what they did I didn't see in the televised debates between the candidates on Friday Krishnan guru-murthy hosted the first on Channel 4 on Sunday Julie Etchingham hosted the second on ITV and the gloves came off to the highest level in 70 years.

I've lost a look at this and another tax and it will all be ok, but you know what it won't be something for nothing economics isn't conservative socialism under your plans.

We are predicted to have a recession not connected.

Sky News then announced the third debate on Tuesday was off after some of the candidates declined to take part will hear skyside that story in a few minutes, but there is more to come on Monday next week the BBC will host the final 2 contenders in another debate with BBC News economics editor Faisal Islam part of the Honor team and we can start by speaking to Faisal of Julie Etchingham and Krishnan guru-murthy welcome to all three of you are all hi there what I said.

Let me start with you.

You're joining me from Derby when I know you're putting together a report for the news 6 hour or so, but aside from doing that.

How are you prepare for Monday evening by the excellent debates hosted by to other people on this call really rich in terms of drama and some interesting and intriguing.

Proposals that were yet to hear detail.

I think another factor.

Is that we haven't heard as many broadcast interviews with some of the candidates to be Prime Minister have had in the past that is really have been the only way too kind of independently probe people that could be the Prime Minister in a few weeks time so I found them.

I think we'll try and he's out some of the detail obviously they can be strategies.

Where such detail is not for coming or helpful for the electric.

You're trying to hold the two people left it in now two accounts on behalf of the country extract that try and find out what they think about the you know what really matters right now and obviously for my mind that the economy and the parcel.

And Christine and Julie is you listen to Fi so he's alluding to the fact that all of these programs try and he's out policy details, but there are different ways of going about that question and help me understand how you build on the format that you went for the format was very much based on what we done before in 2019 when we did that conservative leadership contest and the Labour Party leadership contest is seen as well which was essentially that the subjects would be determined by the invoice audience and they would kickoff with questions that would determine the main topic and then I would follow up with with supplementaries each candidate would get an opportunity to answer each question but we will take it in turns to give them the first go and then after that was they were free to chime in and it took a little while I was interesting I mean that they did start debasing but it took them a little while to get used to that for Martin to start.

But what to do with 2.0 different things in the channel was the opening hours of the economic debate the question of whether you can fund tax cut through borrowing or not and that between Leicester and Rishi Sunak the story of the campaign it was fleshed out more on Tudor based on Sunday and I'm sure it will be the core of the debate on Monday as well as National Trust what's my policy which is why do you think that fairytale economics and off it went and there was the format you be sued Julia I'm interested in the ghost shaped the format with the candidates or did you just ring them up and tell them this is how we doing it?

Literally turned round for a 5 days, so there's not a time for negotiation.

We basically decided here's a crisp format ITV but is an hour long.

We had last time and we presented them with what we wanted to do.

We invited them all to take part.

They're obviously free to do that and we said it on this occasion.

We are doing our they won't be in audience.

We had a strong feeling with a format that actually were introduced at the candidates to audience of the standing so I think it actually get possibly that intensity that you sort out on Sunday night.

Do you wondering if I bring you back in here? Do you plan rehearsals? Will you be gaming this out? How it might go in advance of Monday night absolutely and that's the other to post but certainly we.

Oh, that's a shame.

It looks like thistles line from Derby is gone well.

We bring that back Julie you tell me to rehearse music play the right now this was happening for sure until Thursday about 4 tweeted.

See you there until that point I was waiting for somebody to What's the saying we decided to call off going to go ahead and we didn't have confirmation.

So it was really only at 13 Thursday at 4, then I started going right.

How's it going to work? What are we going to ask you on Friday morning when we was going to be about because obviously thought well, we don't like to ask you I would like to have a sexual and asexual we couldn't decide that because we have given a commitment that it would be the audiences questions that determines what we talked about 11 on Friday that will go through the

Vast majority of these questions are about trust last 70% We've got to give a big amount of the program to that then it's the economy and we went from there.

You didn't have time to her so I wonder what about you Julie

Is a part of my brain be working on it was just ok here's a heads up then maybe a debate on Sunday night and it's ok fine as soon as somebody who said that to me.

I am I knew that it was pretty likely come you know within our lives in the right direction so I mean because I just kick into an automatic mode on.

I know how I have to practise these and it is really detailed.

It's you know.

I already thought about you know as soon as I know ok you just in case somebody shifts or something changes.

I just like to be across it and I'm particularly interested in this idea for her so I know that when Emily maitlis, just preparing.

Prince Andrew questions now editor Esme Wren Woodward play out scenarios of what might happen in that interview did you do that you have a colleague who is pretending to be Rishi Sunak are we have a whole lineup of colleagues and then I got back on Friday night Saturday morning.

We were in a room and we just unfortunate you know what I'd do these debates with this amazing team on the programme Vicky flind corner and an amazing array of smart producers who are all across all policy detail and it allows me to test out how the day is going to work so we were doing that on Saturday morning.

We didn't have a full dress rehearsal on Sunday I'm for me but I accidentally increase your processor and here's one question.

I've got for the three of you before we bring in our guest from Sky News and maybe face or your back with this you can help me here when this is playing out in real time and there's a lot of information.

Coming your way a lot of it.

You wouldn't know was coming your way until you hear it.

How do you fat cheque it? How do you catch the things that maybe not as accurate as they need to be in the moment Faisal

nap.of.the format that we put together for Monday is that we have the brilliant house Sophie Raworth doing the the main questioning but myself and I'm sorry Chris Mason will be sorted the side checking things interjecting.

I think asking some questions is not firmly down and we're literally came out the processor.

Just been talking about in the next couple of days and I think it's quite Jonathan come on.

It's not very helpful Jonathan you being so difficult and only of the the the the opponent well after that after that.

Have to bring him in Jonathan Levy head of news Gathering operations that Sky News a man who it sounds like can do an impression of Michael Gove when is required I won't do that, but I wonder if this is a little frustrating listings all of this Jonathan because you're listening to the BBC iTV and Channel 4 talking about the Bates that either have happened or will happen and your debate this week.

Didn't know it was very exciting this week.

We went into into the week into Monday with a commitment of from four of the five remaining candidates in the race at that point to whoever was left in on Tuesday evening turn up and and debates we felt we had a viable program that we could go ahead with and then unfortunately for us on on Monday morning Liz truss and Rishi Sunak said that they weren't going to take part.

I wish you soon.

Xx team has not given a commitment but the others had.

When we're ready didn't anticipate given that they were two out of the three candidates who are leading the MPs balanced that we would have a program and so it turned out to be that speaks to you call the earlier the kind of freestyle nature when we were talking earlier the kind of wild west nature of the way these these debates organised and Chris was talking about it as well.

He didn't know until I wish she Sunak tweeted on in the week on Thursday I think it was that he was going to turn up today to the Friday to the current wild west way of organising these debates where all the broadcast to do their own things strengthens the hands of the other politician is it wild west or is it just the capsule leadership contest in the Conservative Party is not precisely the same scenario as a general election for example that you might want different programs different numbers of programs depending on the circumstance well.

Situation that we've seen play out in this context contest completely for tells what's likely to happen head with General Election whenever it comes in which the cast as well all try and cut a game each other and gain the politicians in order to try to hold their own debate which is why Sky is arguing once again as we did in 2018 performer body an independent commission that certain your head of general elections and possibly other contests organises this ensures that we we get a see that the politicians turn up to and there properly formatted and there are over a proper series of X can fantastic as the debate over the weekend and I enjoyed them both be brilliant each other very illuminating what we ended up with was 25 candidate debates within.

2 days which other and possibly another debate it didn't happen a couple of days late with three candidates rather something that was coordinated and instructed and an organised Julie Etchingham from ITV would you prefer this to be a centralised system where someone rings you up with your way with your husband or doing something else and says actually this is this is definitely what's going to happen? You don't have to sit there one that's part of my job.

Can I just be perfectly care? You know we know that comes to the charity that is part of my job and I'll just get on with it.

That's what we're here for.

I mean the thing is especially if you're in obviously a great deal of appeal to me.

I'd like to be able to plot and plan and workout if I'm going to be the person who's not making it is obviously a very attractive to think about having these things planned and done in a good way because frankly is the middle of

Obviously you but you're not my TV is different about the idea of the debates commission because ITV position for the broadcaster to make the invitation we decide the program format and we do it in a sort of mixed economy way if you like sometimes sometimes there are programmes.

Where are the candidates are interrogated by audience a whole different way of mixing up the coverage to make sure that you're in a public service broadcaster a really good template of programs to the audience and you know we just taken the position that broadcast is have a right to organise them and then have a free choice whether to take part.

What do you think christening? I mean?

Beyond my my leval to be honest a decision for management as to whether you have I can see the argument having some certainty on the other hand I suppose it might get a bit cumbersome.

If if you got to do is very very quickly with the matches has happened last week the size of a very high quality impossible broadcaster interview because we think he's a good for democracy and we want the default location of the political parties to be that they will take part in and debates because this is good for politics is good for democracy opening out at the moment has been elected into the wider one and and voters in general and explaining why politics works and holding people to account for their but I record and if that is the default position of all political.

This is not be complicated position was of course will be taking part in will do it with all the main public service broadcasters.

You know and that's just operate there's no problem, but I wonder whether you all and you'll have great experience making these programs, but you also have great experience of doing long form interviews Faisal Islam let's bring you in you were out of a Sky News before you join the BBC Economics editor.

You've done lots of high-profile long form interviews.

Do they not reveal more perhaps about the candidates and their policy positions and their personality than the more complex and hard to find formats that come with these dealership to base.

Sky and Channel 4 together developed a format that was the sort of very intelligent of interview alongside a town hall.

There was pretty affected and you didn't happen at the last election because it was to broadcast joining together when you look back over the past six or seven years or debate 1st 2010 General Election I guess the reality is that is that it was felt that they had a material impact on the result various people in the negotiations.

Don't want them to have that material impact so it's very delicate situation and then and that's one that's a problem, but I think the absence of long-form interview is a real problem problem.

Discussion and benefit from some accountability and everyone here does superb interviews and obviously benefits usually when those those long for me to happen.

There is there also understood as is a debate format understand from all of you how you try and make these formats work.

You've all taken different approaches both in the last few days, but what's the last few years as well before we took any further let's listen to one thing that Julie did during the ITV debate on Sunday night which was an effort to ask a question, but get them to answer using their hands if he wish to serve who here would be happy to have Boris Johnson in their cabinet, please raise Your Hands

Not a single person would have Boris Johnson say something you're struggling everything as well as having to go into a break as well, but I wonder why you decided to do that.

You must have I assume plan to do that in advance because when we're thinking about format.

We're thinking about ok.

We're asking to stay with us for an hour.

I mean that is actually quite a tight time.

It might seem quite hard to cover with a lot of subjects in an hour.

So it's a good bit of shorthand it switches things up a bit it gives a different sort of tempo to the program.

It's a television is a visual visual shorthand nose and down and it was just a moment and it also helps us to Tia before we went to the ad break that we're going to get into the assuming character.

That was a punchy quicksharp way of doing it and you know it was a thing that was picked up is a journalistic least satisfying to do these debates when you go into them trying to cancel all of these different sometimes competing factors.

That is a really great question because actually they are satisfying as a moderator.

They are not always journalistic satisfying because your instinct is a journalist is to want to do endless follow-up questions to go down the route that people set you on and follow-up and you're actually in those format.

You are bad encourage debate between the cancellation is absolutely right but quick follower and points of information and necessary but you simply start sucking every little details that gets thrown up within the conversations.

You are there to encourage a debate is not a long time.

In some way, it's quite hard because you have to park some of your instance at the door when you get on with it and just let them interrogate one another positions.

Can you relate to that christening? Yeah? I mean that's absolutely the case and you were inevitably have a huge amount of material that your sleep all those candidates ready for if you know the arises in the Wall sort of things that you know as a moderator you could pursue that you end up not pursuing because you know it's not it's not an interview as you know what you got to do is answering the questions and debating each other very substantial in terms of opened up a debate that have been going on behind closed doors behind the scenes opened up the arrival and the vitriol.

Behind the scenes of with anything of newspapers.

I was quite surprised in some ways that is open as they ended up being but I think I think as exercise substantial, but presumably Jonathan at Sky News you can cluded that one of the reasons yours didn't go ahead was because of what happened during Julie's and Christians in the days before hand.

I think we know that now because after the debate on on Sunday evening.

It is understood that Rishi Sunak looked said why we doing it so or words to that effect and then decided not to do it or not to do it Tuesday after I've been through this discussion is the great day relating a revelatory they demonstrated by they need play also what comes through from this discussion is that 10 years on from when we secure.

Working together is broadcasters.

They do great debates in 2010 the three across the general election here over a decade on from that.

They're still not a cemented consistent feature of our political broadcast landscape.

They aren't but some would argue.

I guess that's the different formats for different things from the candidates and Julian really interested to know where the before during or perhaps afterwards use or indications that Liz truss and Rishi Sunak realised that they were showing her and abrasiveness within their relationship that perhaps we hadn't seen before moments when you're on the sat and you know I'm with the immigration.

I've got the countdown in my ear and when we came off.

Always say please, can we build in a few moments that shops at the end to see if they're going to go and shake hands all you know whatever I didn't genuinely and it made this made in my message, but I didn't get a sense when they were walking off the set but they necessarily new the impact that they had on it wasn't something that I I particularly sort of witness the tour then I saw a few of them in the corridors and the Green Room afterwards at the dressing rooms not the rest of it because you didn't have an audience, but they didn't pick up on how people reacting to them a bit like in the way that Big Brother contestants emerging the house and don't realise how the TV audiences react to them.

You know I thought a lot about it, and I do think that may have been a factor.

You know we're home tense when you're in that space.

It's snowing and I'm doing it with an audience on all behind you know and you can pick up in the room, but they wasn't there wasn't and intensity and Christine what about you? Did you did you pick up on Dynamics between the candidates which then played out on the TV it's all very straightforward.

I think actually what is Merrifield is a relative lack of experience in these candidates on these sorts of debates and I think that may have also been revealed and the sort of going to go see ations leading up to them.

You know if you don't have to fall out in these debates.

You know that.

Became at the moment because they did so and maybe they did so by accident or maybe they did so on purpose and I got something with the impression that having opened up the argument and the argument they seem to have come into the Sunday night determined to really flashing and you know to go and it seems you should have quite a delivery that may be wrong and I'm just be my impression as own as a viewer but I mean I think I'm not sure they have thought that clearly about the impact of disagreement that would be and finally Faisal you're listening to all of this no doubt taking mental notes and you'll be talking to your colleagues about what Julian Chris has been sharing.

How do you and Chris Mason and Sophie Raworth interact with the wither strawson Rishi Sunak if it all before they go on the TV with you?

Interaction between us as a beam to try and find out the best ways to see you soon out this info would you meet the candidates half an hour before and say hello or would you not see them at all for you engage them? All they're doing the sky referendum debate in my green room and I'm outside is a taller than you'd expect David Cameron just waiting there for me.

Sort of idle.

Just to say I'm here interesting it like a bit like a defender putting in a well with beginning of the matter with that image.

We're going to have to leave it.

Thank you very much indeed to you to Krishnan guru-murthy from Channel 4 News Julie Etchingham from ITV news and also Jonathan Levy from Chinese thanks for all 4 the media.

Show will be back at the usual time next week.

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