It certainly highlights how brave Manton was to stick to the format he had envisioned for his book. The interview was without doubt a pleasure to read, and Manton spoke well. A very enjoyable read, I must say.
you say that as if you are surprised.
Surprised at how he managed to come across as being thoroughly well prepared. In the best sense. He tossed off plenty of facts off the top of his head with great aplomb.
Ed, it just occured to me that Manton probably knows from a professional point of view how you are meant to handle a planned interview with the press. I am sure he went in thoroughly prepared and then proceeded to smoothly executing his interview strategy. As a political speech writer, you probably get exposed to this sort of thing. It's probably similar to preparing for job interviews and the curly question they might throw out you.
No wonder he comes across as being so slick and professional.