Of all the astounding moments in Laura Kuenssberg’s interview there was one right at the end some viewers might have missed. You had to whack the sound way past 11 to catch it, but it was there.

Kuenssberg had thanked Michelle Mone and her husband Doug Barrowman for the sit-down. Baroness Mone of Mayfair nodded silently, almost regally, while her husband muttered “our pleasure”.

Our pleasure? Whatever else the encounter had been the body language of the pair did not shout “great to be here”. Going on national television to admit that you lied is never a good look.

But when you do so as begrudgingly as Baroness Mone did, and then try to make out it is you and your family who are the victims here, that raises the encounter to a whole new level of PR disaster.

Make no mistake: for Baroness Mone and her husband this interview was a train wreck with Christmas bells on.

On the same BBC1 show was Wes Streeting, the shadow health secretary, who spoke for many when he said: “I don’t know who thought it was a good idea for her to do that interview, but I don’t think anyone watching will be shedding any tears.”

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“Why” she did it was not the question leading social media on Saturday evening. More people wanted to know how the BBC could justify giving the couple a “platform” when the matter was the subject of a National Crime Agency investigation, and a civil case brought by the Department of Health and Social Care.

Others suggested mischievously that Victoria Derbyshire take Kuenssberg’s place as questioner.

First, any journalist who would turn down Baroness Mone’s first major broadcast interview in years is in the wrong profession.

Second, Kuenssberg did an excellent job. Bit by bit over more than 20 minutes she skilfully extracted information from the couple and made clear why it mattered.

While doing so she called to mind her all too brief spell as ITV News’s first business editor. She knew exactly what she was talking about. More to the point, her interviewees knew she knew.

So when Kuenssberg started to drill down into Baroness Mone’s denials that she and her children stood to benefit from the £60 million profit made on the deal, there was only going to be one winner. It was not the baroness.

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All of which makes one wonder why Baroness Mone did the interview at all, and why now.

The story has been brewing for more than two years. As Kuenssberg pointed out, any attempts by the media to link Baroness Mone and her husband to PPE Medpro were met consistently with denials and threats from lawyers to sue.

Yet only last week a film about PPE Medpro, paid for by Mr Barrowman, was posted online. And now the interview with Kuenssberg. Why the change of strategy?

The former Conservative peer and businesswoman has benefitted in the past from being proactive with the media. Her gift for generating publicity played a large part in turning a small lingerie business into an international player.

In PR-speak perhaps she thought “the narrative” was not going in her favour and it was time to take back control. But there was no guarantee the media would play along. After years of legal threats it could be that a tipping point had been reached.

Whatever the reason for doing the interview this was a spectacular own goal on Baroness Mone's part. The online film has been viewed more than 36,000 times. Sunday Morning with Laura Kuenssberg pulls in between 1.2 and 1.5 million viewers, so many more people will now be aware of the story and have a view on it. That might have been to the couple’s advantage if they had come across positively, but they did not.

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A first taste of the likely reaction to the interview came from Kuenssberg’s panel of commentators. Susanna Reid, GMB anchor, found it “utterly remarkable” that she [Baroness Mone] did not see what a sensitive issue this was to many people, adding: “Nobody wants to see anybody profiteering from this crisis.”

Robert Buckland MP, who was in government during the pandemic, shot down Baroness Mone’s insistence that the government knew of her links to PPE Medpro and therefore she did not need to register the interest with the House of Lords. “It was her responsibility,” he said. The House of Lords is investigating.

There is also Mr Barrowman’s allegation that a government official asked for “a sum of money” to make the NCA investigation “go away”. What action will the government take on that?

Lady Mone is right about one thing: it is “not a crime” to lie to the media. But it is an extremely risky and unwise thing to do, as she is now finding out.