John Humphrys started an interview with David Davis by ‘joking’ about domestic violence

John Humphrys and David Davis BBC Today
Emily Apple

On 22 August, John Humphrys interviewed former Brexit secretary David Davis on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. Humphrys is known for his chummy, laugh a minute interviews with Davis. But this time he took it to a new level. Because he seemed to start the interview by joking about domestic violence.

Oh, how we laughed about punching women

A dancer in the World Tango Championship has been disqualified after witnesses saw him punching his wife and dancing partner. The story was covered as the last news story before the interview with Davis.

Any rational thinking person would realise this is not something to joke about. But apparently not so for Humphrys and Davis. First, people noticed that Humphrys sniggered after the news bulletin. And then Davis started the interview by saying:

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I guess this is our last tango.

Humphrys countered:

I promise not to punch you if you don’t punch me.

Davis replied:

Ah, very good.

Unsurprisingly, people on social media were not impressed:

For some, it provided yet another reason why they’re switching off Radio 4:

A cosy chat down the pub

Although it’s hard to get worse than laughing about domestic violence, the rest of the interview wasn’t exactly exemplary. As people pointed out, it was more like a “cosy chat” than a robust political interview:

And one Twitter user summed up just how little anyone wants to listen to Davis:

According to the Office for National Statistics, 2 million adults experienced domestic abuse in the UK in the year ending March 2018. As it also points out, it’s often a “hidden crime”. It’s not something to joke about at any time. But it’s especially not something we should expect an MP and our public service broadcaster to joke about.

Davis and Humphrys using the news of a man punching a woman for their chummy banter is utterly disgusting and shows both men are unfit to hold their positions in public life.

Featured image via screengrab/BBC Newsnight and Wikimedia/Chris McAndrew

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  • Show Comments
    1. Why bother to write at length about a foolish remark which even taken on its own terms lacked humour? Why extensive quotation of social media comment, what depth of analysis does this provide?

      Are there not far more pressing matters a finely tuned mind writing for the Canary could discuss?

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