An interview between a spokesperson for the climate activist group Insulate Britain and a talkRADIO host on Tuesday became very awkward very, very quickly after host Mike Graham boldly claimed that concrete can grow.
But unchastened, Graham has since returned to the airwaves for the second time on Tuesday in an attempt to rectify his statement – and subsequently, his doubling down dug himself a much bigger hole.
In conversation with afternoon host Jeremy Kyle, he tried to insist he meant that concrete can physically grow - despite making his initial claim during a discussion about trees.
“Now if you were, for example, describe the economy growing,” he said to Kyle. “Would that be something you would say had to be planted?”
“It would expand and grow – because you have growth in the economy. You don’t actually plant the economy in order for it to grow.”
“They’re all going ‘he’s so stupid, he doesn’t know that concrete doesn’t grow.’ I mean, do they really think that? They actually think that,” Graham added, referring to the “lefties” who called him out on his blunder.
"Concrete grows." Mike Graham responds to the controversy surrounding his Insulate Britain interview this morning,… https://t.co/fso2JIqiX2— talkRADIO (@talkRADIO) 1635268504
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Tuesday morning’s interview got off to a rocky start when Graham asked Cameron Ford, a member of Insulate Britain, the protest group “what he’s glued to” - an obvious reference to the scenes of protesters glueing themselves to roads to stop traffic.
But Ford didn’t see the funny side of this and responded to the question by saying: “Err...just your screen, unfortunately.”
“Unfortunately?” asks Graham in response before asking him what he did for a living. Ford explains that he is a carpenter.
Graham then asks if carpentry is safe for the climate. Ford explains that he works with timber which he says “is a much more sustainable material than say, concrete.”
Graham interjects and ponders if working with timber from trees is actually that good for the environment. Ford responds to this by saying that it is sustainable because “it’s regenerative, you can grow trees.”
Graham comes back by saying: “You can grow all sorts of things? Can’t you?” Ford chimes back: “Well, you can’t grow concrete?” Graham then boldly claims that you can grow concrete.
Mike's interview with Insulate Britain spokesman Cameron lasts less than a minute. @Iromg | @InsulateLove https://t.co/yJS7DheACq— talkRADIO (@talkRADIO) 1635231463
What follows next is seven seconds of pure and agonisingly awkward silence between the two before Graham decides to cut the interview off and bidding Ford a “cheerio.”
Needless to say, this couldn’t have gone more wrong but no one is doubting that it was sensational radio and unintentional comedy gold. Some were also confused as to why the station would promote a clip where their host claimed that concrete could be grown.
This is not something to show off about, if you watch the video, I can’t stop laughing https://t.co/bL72sXWaOb— Mollie Goodfellow (@Mollie Goodfellow) 1635245189
Nah guys, scream with me 😭 this was so AWKWARD https://t.co/ZIy1rl5zSx— Ash (@Ash) 1635243844
@talkRADIO @Iromg @InsulateLove I’m off to tend to my concrete borders. Got to plant new concrete bulbs for the spring 👨🌾— Seb Dance (@Seb Dance) 1635247205
The absolute most perfect thing about this is that the outlet posted it themselves https://t.co/dc2W8YoWOR— Ketan Joshi (@Ketan Joshi) 1635248345
What fresh hell is this? British media sometimes has a league of their own. Fucking hell! 😂 https://t.co/TPUQQKG8K9— Ryn J. (@Ryn J.) 1635248310
I'm retiring. https://t.co/NAKG7ZTfmg— Rosie Holt (@Rosie Holt) 1635248181
radio is very much the only broadcast medium where you can still enjoy full grown men completely out of their depth… https://t.co/Vbu4M6XbLl— ross buchanan (@ross buchanan) 1635247190
OK, own up, which of you scallies sold Mike Graham a packet of 'Concrete Seeds' and told him he could grow his own… https://t.co/PGxfdiL6iR— NewsThump (@NewsThump) 1635247004
In which Mike Graham claims that concrete grows on trees then ends the interview thinking he’s embarrassed the othe… https://t.co/4nW5dhao8D— Tom Peck (@Tom Peck) 1635246204
You think this interview has peaked when the guest explains “you can plant trees” but it hasn’t https://t.co/apQKhGhRcQ— James Felton (@James Felton) 1635246221
Amazing that Talk Radio: 1) Voluntarily chose to put this out. 2) Apparently believed this made the guest, rather… https://t.co/S40ZWSjbrb— Adam Bienkov (@Adam Bienkov) 1635247609
talkRADIO must really hate this presenter because they have broadcast them saying the most stupid thing ever uttere… https://t.co/57wftlvQMe— Owen Jones 🌹 (@Owen Jones 🌹) 1635246499
Hearing David Attenborough’s next epic series will be about all the varieties of concrete which grow in the wild— Toby Earle (@Toby Earle) 1635248738
TalkRadio, perhaps in response to the comments, has since shared a link to a New Scientist article about living concrete that can be grown from bacteria.
Living 'concrete' made from bacteria used to create replicating bricks https://t.co/tKFZKJcGq8— talkRADIO (@talkRADIO) 1635250927
Well done to everyone involved. Just wonderful stuff.
Whether you agree with Insulate Britain or not, you’ve got to agree that they certainly pushing buttons.
Now, where’s the nearest concrete tree?