Well done Tom Winsor.
You might remember he was the rail regulator a few years ago, and thus subject to many media grillings. These days he comments on regulatory issues, turning up on programmes like Radio 4’s Today.
What a wheeze he had recently when he appeared live in the studio to be quizzed by James Naughtie about the BP oil disaster. Naughty Tom decided to pack a set of his own home-made crib cards, but didn’t deploy them on cribbing. Instead he displayed them to the puzzled presenter during the course of the interview. One card taunted: “Don’t rush me, I’m almost finished.” Another proclaimed: “You don’t really expect me to answer that, do you?” And a third simply yawned: “I got up a 5.30 for this?”
James Naughtie is reported to suffered a sense of humour failure as Winsor ploughed on through the deck, answering oily questions along the way. Ever the professional, Naughtie ensured a seamless interview, with no listeners the wiser of any studio antics. Even Winsor’s card: “I’ve had enough of this, I’m off,” didn’t cause Naughtie to spill the beans to his audience. Nor did: “I’ve lost the power of speech; carry on without me!”
The cards now adorn the walls of the Today production office. No news yet on whether Tom Winsor is ever to be invited back, nor what his next trick will be. It’s a risky media relations strategy, to say the least. But rather fun too.