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Friday 19 September 2014

Mair tells of Newsnight speculation

Published 29/07/2014 | 09:34

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Eddie Mair says he is relieved not to be asked any more whether he is replacing Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight

Eddie Mair has spoken of his relief after Evan Davis was announced as the new host of Newsnight - because it puts an end to the "tedious speculation" linking him to the job.

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Radio 4's Today programme presenter Evan was unveiled as Jeremy Paxman's replacement on the BBC Two programme earlier this month.

Fellow Newsnight presenters Laura Kuenssberg, Kirsty Wark and Emily Maitlis, as well as Channel 4′s Krishnan Guru-Murthy and PM presenter Eddie had been tipped for the position.

Eddie wrote in Radio Times magazine: "It's a great appointment by Newsnight, and even greater that it brings to an end the months of tedious speculation - and betting - about who could replace Mr Paxman. Speculation in which my name kept coming up."

He joked: "I realised how absurd it had all become when I was standing in the queue at William Hill's and the guy in front, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, turned around and asked whether I too was putting money on Andrew Neil."

Eddie said that it was "flattering" to be linked to the post b ut joked that BBC bosses had written to him to tell him that he would not replace Paxman because he has a face and body for radio and a terrible "screen manner".

Jeremy, famous for his abrasive style, bowed out of the news programme after 25 years in June.

Evan, who will be leaving Today, will be anchoring the programme three nights a week from the autumn.

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