IT is coming up for a year since the legal requirement to wear masks in public spaces was lifted. Other restrictions soon went the same way as society rushed to get back to normal. Why, then, are so many broadcasters still clinging to the old pandemic ways when it comes to interviews?

Like every other aspect of life, broadcasting changed during the pandemic. No more studio guests, interviews had to be done remotely or at a distance of two metres, travelling was banned and then kept to a minimum.

Not ideal but needs must, and roll on the day when interviewer and interviewee were back in the same studio, or a reporter and camera crew dispatched to a location.

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No more dropped lines, pauses between questions and answers, or people talking over each other because they could not see the other person’s face and pick up on the usual cues.

Alas, it was back to those bad old days on BBC Scotland’s The Sunday Show when the presenter, Martin Geissler, interviewed Ash Regan, one of three candidates running to be SNP leader and First Minister.

When Ms Regan appeared on screen she seemed to have slipped through a portal into the past. She was live from somewhere, but where? No location was specified and Geissler did not say. Plus the picture was blurred and there was a delay on the line.

If the interview was so important to both sides, was it asking so much for Ms Regan to travel to the studio in Glasgow, or to another BBC location? Greens Minister Lorna Slater was interviewed from Edinburgh. Failing this, a BBC crew could have jumped in a van and gone to Ms Regan. Was it deemed too costly to do so?

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The TV leg of the simulcast also merited a longer running time, but did not get it.

No interviewer, given the choice, would settle for a remote conversation over having a guest there in front of them. Geissler did his considerable best and got most of his questions across, but the conditions were far from ideal.

When the line to Ms Regan froze for the second time, he apologised and conceded defeat. Gremlins 1, Clarity 0.

BBC1’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg and Sky News’ Ridge on Sunday carried interviews with another SNP leadership contender, Humza Yousaf.

The Health Secretary was live from Dundee, shot against a wooded backdrop with a busy road in the distance. Yet the line was so clear during Kuenssberg’s interview you could hear the birds singing.

Ridge had no trouble with the line to Dundee either. She asked Mr Yousaf about his absence during a key vote on equal marriage. He said:“If I was there I would have voted for it.” Pressed on whether he believed gay sex was a sin, he said “No.”

Kuenssberg also asked about the equal marriage vote and the claim, by former SNP Minister Alex Neil, that Mr Yousaf had asked not to take part in one of the votes because he was facing pressure from religious figures. “Is that true?” she asked.

Mr Yousaf replied: “No. Alex Neil, I think it is fair to say, is backing another candidate and the fact this issue has been dragged up nine years on in the midst of a leadership campaign probably tells you the motivation behind it.”

Kuenssberg swooped to clarify. “So you are saying to our viewers this morning that Alex Neil is not telling the truth because he wants somebody else to win the race to be First Minister?”

Mr Yousaf: “I’ve been very clear in this campaign. I am not going to sling mud at any SNP or any individuals involved in this contest or people that put their head above the parapet in the SNP. I’ll leave Alex Neil to say what he wants to say.”

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One interviewee who was happy to travel to the Sky News studio was Senator Bernie Sanders. He had flown all the way from the US, albeit he was on a tour punting his latest book, It’s OK to be Angry About Capitalism (Allen Lane, £22). After deeming it unlikely that he would have another tilt at the presidency (“At this point we’re thinking that Joe Biden is going to run.”), he was asked about Scottish independence, a particular interest of Ridge's. What, she wondered, did the Senator’s gut say?

“I’m not an expert on UK politics but I very much appreciate what the people of Scotland have done, what they are fighting for,” said the Senator from Vermont. “If they want to go their own way they should be allowed to.”

He added jokingly, “Don’t tell anybody I said that.”

Ridge brought up the exchange during her interview with Mr Yousaf who said he would “love” to have the Senator join the campaign for independence. “Bernie gets it; it should be for the people of Scotland to decide.”