Paxman: I felt hatred for estranged father
Published 24/09/2016 | 05:26
Former Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman has admitted in his memoir to feeling "passionate hatred" towards his late father at times.
The broadcaster revealed in his new book, A Life In Questions, that typewriter salesman Keith Paxman left the family to move to Australia when his eldest son was a 24-year-old BBC trainee.
After tracking his estranged father down a decade later, Paxman said he was "astonished" when the older man showed no interest in reconciling with him.
In extracts from the book, published in The Times Magazine, Paxman said: "Did I love my father? My feelings ranged from resentment to passionate hatred."
In an interview with the newspaper he added: "I was astonished by his lack of curiosity. I mean there were grandchildren he'd never seen, spouses he's never met.
"It seemed as if we were part of a life he'd put behind him."
As a presenter, Paxman spent 25 years fronting the BBC's flagship political programme, earning a reputation as a hard-bitten interviewer before he hosted his final show in summer 2014.
And the 66-year-old said he did not want to be portrayed as "poor little me" following the revelations in his memoir.
He said: "There comes a point, about the age of 40, when you have to stop saying how you are is a consequence of how you were brought up. And particularly when you are 66, it is pathetic to say 'I am as I am because of thins that happened in my childhood'."
The Leeds-born broadcaster, who studied at Cambridge University, has already authored a string of books including studies of Victorian Britain, politics and fishing, and continues to host quiz show University Challenge.
In 2014, he reportedly signed a three-book deal with publisher William Collins for almost £1 million.