As an exercise in self-destruction, a confessional interview given to the BBC by controversial House of Lords Member, Baroness Michelle Mone, is right up there with the kind of performance which once brought Prince Andrew unstuck.

If you need to know just how to set fire to your reputation – along with your future prospects in the business world – Baroness Mone has led the way in showing what to do… or, hopefully – in the case of any interviews you may grant – what not to do!





Baroness Mone showed – as Prince Andrew infamously did once on BBC’s “Newsnight” programme – that one of the keys to bringing your reputation unstuck is to blunder into a massive string of self-incriminating admissions, while avoiding an equally-sized apology.

Both interviews have demonstrated that if you underline big bad admissions with only the most miniscule of apologies – while expressing a lack of comprehension about the scale and importance of what you’ve done wrong – it adds to the public outrage you trigger.

If your aim is to infuriate the public, try saying in a media interview, as Michelle Mone does, that lying to the press “isn’t a crime.”.

Or try saying, as the baroness does about herself and her businessman husband, Doug Barrowman: “I don’t see what we’ve done wrong!”.

As investigations continue into what exactly Baroness Mone and her husband may have done wrong, at the heart of the matter are allegations about excessive profiteering from supplying large amounts of faulty Personal Protective Equipment – PPE – for urgent public use at the height of the Covid crisis.

This was made worse by the couple repeatedly lying to the media (and therefore the wider public) about their involvement in the company, PPE Medpro, which supplied PPE to Britain’s National Health Service.

At the time of the deals, Baroness Mone was an active Conservative Party member of the United Kingdom’s unelected House of Lords. 

She is currently on extended leave.

In her BBC interview, the baroness admits to having repeatedly told untruths to the media about the fact – now admitted – that she’s in line to benefit from the massive profits from the £202-million PPE deals.

To make matters worse, lawyers for her and her husband have long been threatening journalists with libel action if they were to publish or broadcast what they had discovered about the couple’s business dealings.

The details of all this are discussed in an interview with the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg on her TV programme “Sunday”.



You can get a flavour of the encounter by checking out this article – which contains a short interview extract – at:





One of the areas where the Michelle Mone and Doug Barrowman strategically go wrong with their interview is in apparently failing to have a clear idea of what they’re seeking to achieve by doing it.

It seems they wanted to follow up their admitted series of long-running untruths by finally giving some more accurate information about their PPE dealings, while seeking to minimise and deny any perceptions of wrong-doing.

One of the fundamentals of conducting any successful interview – from the interviewees’ perspective – should be to go beyond just giving information.

You need to make sure you are clear on the actual messages you’re seeking to convey.

In the case of Michelle Mone and Doug Barrowman – given the nature of their admissions in this instance – the overwhelmingly important message would naturally be to say how hugely sorry they are for what they had done.

This could wisely have been reinforced by related messages saying what they were doing, or planning to do, to make up for it.

In this case that might have involved giving some – or all – of their massive profits to deserving people or causes – including British taxpayers.

But this never happened and the couple has, not surprisingly, found that they’ve set themselves up for a torrent of public condemnation.

When I put a post on social media about the interview this week, I was a bit surprised by the extraordinarily high level of public engagement with it – much of it involving fury!

You can watch the whole of the interview here:






One of the vital roles of media interview response training often involves is guiding clients on how to tell the truth well.

This can embrace more than just admitting to things you could have and should have done better.

It can be – assuming its justifiable – about helping your audience understand why you did something and/or effectively explaining difficulties you encountered while seeking to make the right decisions during a tough time.

When you are to do this persuasively and caringly, you can execute it way, way, way better than Michelle Mone and Doug Barrowman have managed.

Media interview response training on tricky and delicate subjects involves practising – and reviewing – in a series of mock interviews before you step before the lights and cameras for real.

The content, structure and delivery style of your practice answers is routinely played back and analysed so that you can see and hear how you’re coming across and what you may need to adjust for better results.

There’s more about media interview response training at:

It’s especially important to do plenty of joint media training practice runs if you’re planning on being interviewed at the same time as someone else who is supposedly on your side.

However, there are no signs of this having happened with Michelle Mone and Doug Barrowman.

Note how at several points in the interview the two seem to say something which the other doesn’t expect.

So they effectively trip each other up and create awkward moments for themselves.

The couple’s performances don’t demonstrate much about good practice when you’re being interviewed in a challenging situation.

But they certainly show you loads about how not to do it!!!

Here’s to a splendid festive season and a wonderful 2024!