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Mosaic training blog

20 Jul 2016

Politicians getting caught out by the media

Being sat in front of a camera for a media interview can be daunting for some, but others feel completely comfortable in the situation, for these politicians too comfortable...

The cameras are rolling...

Footage emerged earlier this month of former Chancellor of the Exchequer Ken Clarke talking candidly with former Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind about his thoughts on the Conservative leadership candidates.

They were sat in the Sky newsroom chatting away, clearly in advance of a recording, and unbeknown to them everything they said was caught on camera and released to the world...

The pair were speaking about the race to become the next Conservative leader when Mr Clarke described front-runner, and now Prime Minister, Theresa May, as a: “bloody difficult woman.”

Would he have shared this view if he thought the camera was rolling and the footage might be seen? Probably not.

Remember your media training! Don’t forget the microphone...

Ken Clarke’s gaff was perhaps not as damning as Gordon Brown’s assessment of Gillian Duffy, when he called her a "bigoted woman” when she confronted him about immigration in 2010. You will hear his candid comments three minutes into this video. 

Even David Cameron was caught out recently, humming a merry tune to himself, whilst walking into Downing Street after his statement about Teresa May taking over as Prime Minister.

Luckily for Mr Cameron, nothing out of turn was said, but social media still went wild and now remixes of his little ditty have been made.

In Gordon Brown and David Cameron’s cases these were simple mistakes of a lapel microphone being left attached and turned on for all to hear. Oops.

How politicains should avoid mistakes in a media interview

So how do you avoid this? Well if you are in front of a camera, or have a microphone attached to you, always assume someone has hit the record button and consider just how candid you can afford to be.

Our advice would be to undertake a training course for politicians to provide you with the media skills you require to have a successful interview.

How can media skills training help politicians?

Mosaic Media Training's bespoke Broadcast Skills Training course provides advice and support to help prepare for TV and radio interviews.

We tailor our courses specifically to your needs, based on scenarios you provide, and our trainers, who are former BBC journalists and PR professionals, will give you a true media interview experience.

By undertaking our media training for MPs, councillors and local authorities we hope you will be prepared for a media interview and won’t end up making a gaff like these politicians!

Are you a politician who is thinking of using social media? Our Social Media for Politicians course will help you to avoid the pitfalls and reap the rewards of these channels. 

If you’d like to know more about any of our media training courses give the team a call on 01206 841 933 or email

By Mosaic Media Trainer Darius Laws

Find out more - ask Gemma

Contact media training manager Gemma to book Media training or for further information on a media training course

Contact our Media Training Manager Gemma to book or for further information.

Telephone: 01206 841933