Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Airhead, written and read by Emily Maitlis.
As anchor for the BBC's key political news programme, Newsnight, Emily Maitlis has interviewed some of the most powerful and controversial figures on the political scene. She plans each interview meticulously, knowing what she wants to ask and where she wants it to go, but as one of the most experienced journalists in her field she knows that no interview will ever go to plan. Anything can throw it - from the atmosphere in the room to her own feelings at the time to the mood of the subject. Often she leaves the interview with an entirely different perception of the interviewee, while sometimes it is all too sadly re-confirmed.
Airhead explores just these moments. All we normally see are the interviews, but what were the conversations that preceded them or the shouting matches that ended them? From her interviews with US Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton and the last five British Prime Ministers, to Hollywood film directors and powerful internet and entertainment moguls like Sheryl Sandberg and Simon Cowell, Emily Maitlis explores how these powerful personalities came across. In the process she throws an illuminating torch on them, not just for what they represent, but as individuals in their own right - with all their flaws and charms.
Anyone who has spent this election campaign shouting at the TV needs a copy of Emily Maitlis's Airhead in their Christmas stocking. It's funny and subtly smart, taking the reader behind the camera
Maitlis has written a deliciously funny book about the high-wire act of broadcasting and the madness that surrounds it. Lots of famous presenters have written books but Maitlis' is different . . . Irresistible. She sounds great company . . . Her book's a romp
Maitlis paints a vivid picture of the intensity and unpredictability that come with her assignments, which punctures the perceived glamour of life reporting the news . . . Her writing is excellent: precise, economical and accessible
She is a superb writer, used to throwing together pacy, engaging scripts at a second's notice. Each chapter is dedicated to one of her interviews - it is a sort of greatest-hits compilation
[Emily] is so absolutely of the moment, a quasi-memoir could not be better timed. Airhead is a compilation of her greatest hits. And boy are there many . . . narrated in her snappy, chatty style . . . her asides are acerbic, her observations hilarious
She recounts the interviews of her career, from the great, the good and the questionable, offering insights into the questions that illuminated their characters and the ones they dodged. A chapter on being the target of a stalker reveals her more vulnerable side in this compelling book
Airhead is, like its author, funny, wise, self-deprecating and insightful
Smart, funny and brilliantly told stories about what goes on behind the scenes of television news. A joy
Revelatory, riveting and frequently hilarious. A joy from beginning to end
A wonderfully sane book for our unhinged times