I always have a preliminary meeting at least a fortnight but often longer – further out before the recording day. Because I think there are very important things to establish: to get out of the out of the way: including a number of reassurances.
The first thing that I reassure people about is that the interview is not inquisitorial. Particularly with people who have been in the media and are used to news and current affairs and so forth. Sometimes that takes a bit of of discussion. I have to say that the roles in a sense are reversed. This is your interview: you’re in charge and I’m your facilitator.
And if I’m pressed I go so far as to say I’m not going to press you on the accuracy of anything at all. But I’m going to press you for reasons and more clarification. And I have been surprised in case of two people who were bosses of very big broadcasting organizations who took a while to absorb that. And then felt, of course, very comfortable with it.