David Hopps of The Guardian on dealing with Indian TV and radio stations on the Pakistan spot-fixing scandal:
The best stations in India rival any in the world. They are not averse, shall we say, at cutting to the quick. Those less good leave you in a state of bewilderment. They shout phrases like “The breaking news is… ” and then ask you to comment on claims that Pakistan have just abandoned the tour.
Normally you are in a coffee shop on the way to the ground and have no such information. You then have one second to guess whether they know something you don’t or whether they are existing in a fantasy world.
It can become a long-standing relationship, because you like the attention so much that you do it for free. One of the funnier moments (involving one of the classier TV outlets as it happens) went like this:
“Mr David, putting you through now sir.”
“No, not now. I am in a traffic jam in Cardiff….”
“It’s news time, sir. Now sir.”
“In roadworks, in rush hour.”
“Now, sir, now, sir.”
“So now we go live to the Guardian‘s senior…
[do they have to say “senior”?]
“… cricket writer, David Hopps, who will tell us the latest. David, have the Pakistani cricketers arrived at Kilburn police station?”
“I’m in Cardiff.”
“And what is the scene like in Cardiff?”
“I am just outside the Pakistan hotel and, as luck would have it the Pakistan team coach has just arrived.”
[Wow, this is lucky, I may get through this]
“How much security is there?”
“Just a few policemen milling around and, erm, one of them has just insisted I turn my phone off.”
“That’s the latest from Da…”
I feel more like Alan Partridge every day.