The ABC has invested an undisclosed amount in new technology specifically designed to assist the host of its Sunday morning political panel discussion program Insiders.
An ABC spokesperson said host David Speers had started trialling the new high-tech equipment developed in-house which was expected to become operational in coming episodes.
“The ABC is very proud to say that the new machine called the Auto-Interrupt (main picture) was designed and manufactured by its own technicians in Melbourne,” the spokesperson said.
“It’s a unique and bespoke piece of equipment tailor-made for David Speers. There’s nothing else like it in the world.”
The spokesperson said producers of Insiders had noticed that Speers was missing opportunities to interrupt guests being interviewed or other journos on the commentary panel.
“For instance just on Sunday in his interview with federal Minister for Home Affairs, Karen Andrews, he let a couple of her answers slip by without a single interruption.
“He not only missed the chance to interrupt the Minister, he missed opportunities to interrupt her several times in each answer.
“Similarly when it was the turn of the three panel members, David missed numerous opportunities to interrupt them and their comments.
“That’s not like David at all. Both he and the producers of the show were very upset about all of those missed opportunities.
“But that’s all in the past now, thanks to the Auto-Interrupt which is programmed with David’s voice and a word synthesising program that can detect if an answer has gone on too long without interruption – say four to six seconds.
“If David himself doesn’t interrupt the guest, the Auto-Interrupt will intervene and broadcast its own question in David’s voice so nobody will be able to tell the difference.
“David’s very happy with the new machine. It’ll take a lot of pressure off him so in fact we should actually see more interruptions per interview.
“So it’s a win-win,” the spokesperson said.