Watching Adam Boulton’s scrap with Alastair Campbell, I remembered my extraordinary visit to London Broadcasting a few weeks back, to be interviewed by a young woman called Petrie Hosken, who beats even Adam Boulton for self-regarding pomposity.

I’d been invited in to talk about trade unions, and listened to one of those chortling introductions culled from the pages of the Daily Mail, all about greedy union bosses and union members who were still living in the dark ages, and the rest of the anti-union clichés.

So when Ms Hosken turned to me, I didn’t wait for the question, but dived straight in, explaining that unions protected workers against exploitation.  I hadn't expected that this would make her incandescent with fury.  The moment she could get in, she told me furiously: “You’re the rudest person I’ve ever had in my studio.” 

I expressed the hope that she was a member of her own union, the National Union of Journalists, which would protect her against her employers, and she said she wasn’t going to “answer questions about my personal stuff.”  She added furiously: “Maybe you ought to be a union boss” and was became almost hysterical with rage when I took it as a compliment. 

I asked whether she was about to cut me off, and – listeners couldn’t see this bit – she half rose from her chair and swung her computer screen in my direction. I was quite glad there was a substantial table between us.  As the interview ended, I said “Thank you for inviting me” and the presenter replied grimly: “It won’t happen again.”

After I left the studio, the producer apologised profusely (and quite unnecessarily) to me for Ms Hosken’s hysterical behaviour.  And just as the producer was offering his apology, the advertising break ended, and Ms Hosken came back on air, still steaming, still chuntering on about the dreadfully rude man who had dared come on her programme and defend trade unions.  

I guess what it tells us is that, from distinguished folk like Adam Boulton to obscure ones like Ms Hosken, broadcasters, if they're a bit feeble-minded, turn into pompous and self-regarding folk who can't bear to have their views challenged.  They're not used to it.