BBC political editor Nick Robinson is a brilliant reporter. He always looks cool, calm and unflustered – even when he’s got scary deadlines to meet and major political stories to cover. He’s also got that rare journalistic knack of making the most complicated issues clear and intelligible. He’s particularly good on Radio Four’s Today programme, where he often pops up to detangle the political complexities of the day.
Yesterday Robinson was featured on The Sunday Times Magazine’s long-running A Life in the Daypage. It was fascinating stuff (he said most politicians are “decent people doing an honourable job,” declared he’ll never do Strictly Come Dancing and revealed that when he’s working he lives on crisps and chocolate). There was also one recollection that will strike a chord with all parents who work from home.
Although Robinson is based at London’s Millbank, he explained that he sometimes does interviews from his basement office at home.
“Once, when the kids were small and my wife was away, I had an important radio interview to do – about the Northern Ireland peace process – and I told the kids they needed to be quiet,” he said.
“But the minute the interview began they started shouting that a door handle had fallen off and they were locked in a room.”
So what did he do?
“Like any man faced with a choice between family and career, I ploughed on with the interview…”
And I’m sure the listeners had no idea about the drama going on around him. What a pro.