Monday 19 March 2018

Goodbye after 25 years... Jeremy Paxman's six biggest moments on Newsnight

Jeremy Paxman with beard on Newsnight Photo: BBC
Jeremy Paxman with beard on Newsnight Photo: BBC
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

Newsnight presenter and journalist Jeremy Paxman has announced he is to quit the popular BBC2 programme after a whopping quarter of a century.

Paxman has given more than a few politicians and celebrities the ‘Grand Inquisition’ throughout his 25 years at the helm of the show.

Here we look at the Paxman’s top six moments:

1. The One where Paxman did his best Daithi O’Se impression, or vice versa

‘Impression’ might be pushing it a little but it did seem that Paxman and our own Kerryman O’Se had swapped facial hairstyle tips last summer.

Paxman’s beard was a hot topic on Twitter within minutes of its TV debut last August.

The BBC’s presenter’s new distinguished look sparked a furore of comments online after he sported his beard on the current affairs show.


2. The One with the night of twelve times

Paxman’s most infamous political interview will go down in television history. The then British home secretary Michael Howard joined Paxman on the show in May 1997, only to be asked a persistent twelve times, ‘Did you threaten to overrule him?’ in relation to a report that was critical of Howard’s handling of the prison service when several prisoners had escaped.

Paxman asked Howard a total of twelve times whether he had threatened to overrule Director of Prisons Derek Lewis.

Although it looked like great journalism, Paxman later revealed that there had been a delay elsewhere in the programme and he’d been told to fill the time.

3. The One that people watched from behind their hands

UK junior Treasury minister Chloe Smith (30) was sent along to Paxman in place of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to explain the shambles of the UK budget in 2012. Except she couldn’t. Paxmin sighed at one stage and asked Smith was she told about the change in policy ‘before or after her lunch’.

4. The One where Paxman is not impressed with the new weather segment

Everyone likes to find out the weather forecast. It might be common knowledge but Paxman still isn’t impressed with the show’s new segment.

5. The One where Paxman lost his cool with his colleague

Paxman doesn’t hold back from questioning his own colleagues either. Economics editor Paul Mason once experienced a very uncomfortable interview with the host... all the way from Athens.

6. The One with the pornographic publications

Paxman put former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair in an awkward position during a discussion where Blair mentioned the owner of the Express Newspaper was a suitable party donor. Watch when (8 minutes 50 seconds) Paxman lists pornographic publications that are under the same company as the Express Newspaper.

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