Chris Huhne talks to Robert Peston and Eddie Mair about his downfall, prison, Balzac and phlegmatism

Huhne, Mair, PestonBBC journalists Robert Peston and Eddie Mair have teamed up over recent weeks to make a late-night Radio 4 interview show with a difference. Each week, the presenters take it in turn to choose a guest to be interviewed by them both — but the one not choosing does not know who the guest is until the recording begins. This week’s episode was the last in the series, and Eddie Mair’s guest of choice was Chris Huhne, formerly the Liberal Democrat MP for Eastleigh and energy secretary in the coalition, who was convicted in  2013 of perverting the course of justice, and sentenced to eight months in prison.

Chris and Robert Peston worked together when they were both journalists at The Independent on Sunday, and the programme is a fairly candid (if overly brief) conversation about the end of Chris’s political career.

You can listen to the show here.

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  • Thanks for this. I wasn’t aware of the show, but yes I agree it is worth listening to. Some of it was quite irritating though – a bit too much ‘old boys together’ and unfunny in-jokes.
    I’ve always felt that Chris hasn’t really owned up to and accepted that he did something wrong, and I wanted to hear if he did so here. But he didn’t really. He talks about ‘bad luck’ and then says he was naïve not to realise that people in the public eye would be punished harder for ‘what some would see as a relatively trivial offence’. So, still a bit too reluctant to actually say what he needs to say. i.e. “God, I was an idiot. No-one else to blame, and I deserved what I got.’ Instead, the way he talks, there still seems to be this slight sense of having been treated unfairly.

  • Sadie Smith 17th Jul '15 - 8:15am

    Those programmes were fascinating, well, the three I heard including the one with Chris Huhne, were.
    They are wider and much more informal. Robert Peston and Eddir Mair make an interesting combination.. Between them they give an interesting picture of their interviewee. I don’t think it is only the extra time.

  • Nick Tregoning 17th Jul '15 - 8:46am

    Thoughtful interesting, and insightful. I’m so glad the Tories intend to stamp out this sort of thing in the BBC.

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