■ The comedian, 35, talks political tweets, podcasting and pointless iPhone accessories
Are Russian bots really controlling political developments in the UK?
No, but I think they’re trying to influence things. Though I don’t think I’ve encountered any myself on my timeline and I follow lots of political accounts.
Is there any point discussing politics on Twitter?
Yes, it’s a good place to exchange views, but it can be a ferocious environment. You need to have a thick skin.
Has it got worse?
Definitely. The nature of interaction on social media has massively changed — it’s got more narrow-minded and it’s a tribal war where people try to humiliate and expose others rather than listen to them. I’ve been on Twitter since 2009. It’s gone from being quite banal with people tweeting pictures of their dinner to this ferocious political environment. Maybe that’s a change for the better.
Who are your favourite politicians to follow?
Nicholas Soames. He’s a very funny Tory grandee and takes people on. It’s a novelty to see someone of his age and background use hashtags in such a funny way. Nicola Sturgeon is good at putting a succinct argument in a tweet. Anna Soubry is brilliant — she’s forthright and will take people on.
What are your favourite podcasts?
Westminster Hour on Radio 4. It’s a good summary of what’s been happening in Parliament. Political Thinking with Nick Robinson is brilliant. I love his voice, the questions he asks and he gets great guests on, like George Osborne.
What’s your own approach to podcasting?
Mine is a monthly show called The Political Party. I do stand-up about politics then interview a politician. The time I interviewed Tony Blair was special. He had great comic timing.
What gadgets made an impression on you while growing up?
When I was nine my friend had a key ring that swore. It said: ‘Eat s***’ and ‘f*** you.’ I really wanted to get one but my parents wouldn’t let me. I had a Sega Master System 2 and liked Sonic and Enduro Racer.
Your most disappointing gadget purchase?
I bought a handset for my iPhone that was like an old-fashioned phone handle. You plugged it in and when the phone rang you’d answer this receiver. I thought it looked cool but then I got it home and it didn’t work and I was so embarrassed I’d bought it in the first place that I didn’t take it back.
If you could invent a gadget, what would it do?
I’d invent a gadget that would make beefburgers but without the calories.
■ Unspun With Matt Forde is on Dave on Sundays at 10pm
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