7 Ways That Dad Whose Kids Barged in on His BBC Interview Could Improve His TV Performance

By now you’ve probably seen (and maybe forgot about) the unfortunate professor whose live interview on BBC was interrupted by his two children.

If you missed it, I’m not sure what you’ve been doing, but here is the link for background.

Much has been made of this event and, of course, the internet has blown it a bit out of proportion. I mean, he’s probably not that terrible of a father. And while I’m certainly not here to judge anyone’s parenting, I’m more than happy to critique television interview performance and offer helpful suggestions for improvement. After all, I am a very helpful person. So, here are seven things dad could do to have a better showing next time around.

1. Adopt His Daughter's Carefree Attitude

The first thing you probably noticed about this viral clip is that the daughter does not give any fucks. That kind of confidence is very appealing to TV viewers. Instead of being sheepish and apologetic while continuing to blather on about North Korea or whatever, dad should try to be more like his daughter. The stuffy professor bit isn’t doing it for us.

2. Don’t Be So Boring

Yeah, about the blathering: It’s clearly a problem. People don’t watch TV for reasoned analysis laced with academic jargon delivered with the enthusiasm of Eeyore. North Korea, nuclear annihilation, wider region, blah, blah, blah. If he keeps this up, TV viewers are going to stiff arm dad even harder than he did his first-born child.

3. Spruce Up the Backdrop

Television is at its core a visual medium. And while dad is doing fine with his personal appearance—he’s wearing a jacket and tie in his own house for god’s sake—the office backdrop doesn’t really pop. Sure, the world map is solid and probably quite useful for sticking pins in during the Olympics to track the medal count, but the rest of the composition is rather uninspired. Neatly stacked books on the right and that mess of papers on the left? No thanks. Perhaps a potted plant is what the space needs to bring it to life. There is nothing TV viewers enjoy more than a nice fern.

4. Wear Pants

There’s only one explanation for why dad was frozen in that chair and it wasn’t because he was mortified by his kids. When his daughter bopped in, he was definitely thinking, “Oh no. I don’t have pants on. What am I supposed to do now?” We know it’s tempting to cut corners when you’re working from home, but dad needs to maintain some level of professionalism. He should start with putting on pants.

5. Display Commitment to His Craft Equal to That of His Wife's Commitment to Closing That Door

As always, mom is the hero of this family. While dad is playing dress up and acting important, mom is wrangling children like a boss and swan diving onto the floor to close the door so no one will notice anything weird is going on. Maybe if dad was as committed to stagecraft as his wife was to closing that door, we wouldn’t have to be having this intervention.

6. Come to Think of It, Just Be More Like the Women in His Family

When you get right down to it, dad needs to start from scratch. He is clearly a mess. If he starts over and combines his daughter’s joie de vivre and wife’s work ethic and grace, he might be onto something.

7. Lock the Door

Yeah…mostly this.

Check out Andrew’s book, Fatherhood: Dispatches From the Early Years, and find more on his website.

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