The Andrew Neil Interviews (BBC1)***

HE had nuked Nicola, kebabbed Corbyn, and turned Boris Johnson chicken. How would Jo Swinson, the not so old girl of Douglas Academy in Milngavie, fare against Andrew Neil, the Hannibal Lecter of the half hour TV interview?

Neil rather had his thunder stolen when, shortly before he came on, Matt from The One Show, television’s equivalent of the big slipper for sheer random barminess, announced he was leaving after nine years. No prizes for guessing which one, Matt’s cheerio or the Swinson interview, will get more column inches today.

Neil began on a cheeky note. “Can we agree to conduct this interview on the basis you will not be the country’s next PM?” She agreed.

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From there it was all uphill for Swinson, with Neil asking why voters liked her less the more they saw of her. You’ve got an approval rating worse than Nigel Farage, he gasped. Then came lots of twisting in the winds of logic as she backed a second EU vote but refused to support a second Scottish independence referendum.

By far the most excruciating part of the interview, if not for Ms Swinson then for those who do not have the stomach for blood sports, came when Neil took her for a wander down memory lane to the days of the Tory-Lib Dem coalition government. You voted nine times to introduce the bedroom tax, he began. You want to scrap the benefits cap now, but you voted for it the first time. The poorest and weakest harmed, Sure Start centres closed. On and on he went, asking if she wanted to apologise to all those who had suffered as a result of Tory-Lib Dem austerity. Unlike a certain Labour leader, she took that opportunity.

READ MORE: Jo Swinson suggests she will not work with SNP for People's Vote if 'price tag' is indyref2 

To wrap things up on a cheery note, Neil asked Swinson how well she had to do next Thursday to keep her job. “I’m staying as Lib Dem leader,” she insisted.

It had all been fairly predictable. No great shocks or fireworks. She had got through the interview using the yet to be patented Boris Johnson technique of carrying on talking. Job done? She'll find out next week.