WE wish the BBC Radio 4 presenter John Humphrys well as after 32 years on Today, the 76-year-old gracefully retired.

He was renowned for his tough interviewing style of politicians. Some have gone so far as to call him a rottweiler but really he was more of a terrier: he worried away at an interviewee, unsettling them, making them think, until he got to the kernel of their answer.

Some big name political interviewers seem to think that their encounter with a leading politician is all about them looking clever. They interrupt, harangue and dominate their guest, forgetting that the whole purpose of the interview is to find out what the politician really thinks, for them to be able to explain themselves.

Humphrys usually stayed on the right side of the line and exhibited a rare forensic skill. In fact, the BBC probably now only has Andrew Neil, whatever you may think of him as a person, who can properly dissect an argument, although Emma Barnett shows great potential.

These interviewers are important because it would be easier for politicians to hide from such examination, and that would be to the detriment of the country. Boris Johnson’s plans for the next six weeks desperately need to be tested, by both Parliament and the media.

Which is why it is wrong that Mr Johnson hasn’t gone on Today since he has become Prime Minister and Jeremy Corbyn has avoided the show for three years. Of course, politicians have huge time pressures, but there is a suspicion that they would rather issue tweets or take planted questions on Facebook than really explain themselves to masterminds like Humphrys.