Newsnight’s Jeremy Paxman pays tribute to David Dimbleby’s tattoo
Jeremy Paxman signed off Newsnight with the words Good Nite written across his knuckles, teasing David Dimbleby for revealing his scorpion tattoo.
Jeremy Paxman has paid tribute to fellow broadcaster David Dimbleby’s tattoo by signing off Newsnight with the “Good Nite” inked across on his fingers.
Paxman – who has been wishing viewers goodnight since he started on the show in 1989 - added a twist to his performance by turning over his hands and revealing the words written in large gothic letters.
It was a tribute to Dimbleby, whose decision to get his first tattoo - a scorpion on his back - at the age of 75 led to headlines yesterday.
The fact that Paxman had to spell the sign off incorrectly to fit it across his knuckles could lead to further accusations of dumbing down against the show, which has run a series of stunts in recent weeks.
However, the joke has cost the bookies more than £800, after they revealed yesterday that Paxman was the favourite to be the next BBC presenter to publicly reveal some body art.
Ladbrokes were offering odds of 3/1 that he would be next, followed by Bill Turnbull, at 4/1, and George Alagiah, at 5/1.
Revealing their losses this morning spokesman Alex Donohue said: "The odds proved to be spot on and those who backed BBC tattoo favourite Paxman didn't have long to wait for their money. Fair play to the handful of canny punters who were sharp enough to back him - we'll take it on the chin and pay up."
As part of the Newsnight's new populist approach Kirsty Wark surprised viewers with a performance of Michael Jackson’s Thriller on Hallowee, while earlier in the month the programme ended on an interview with the Cookie Monster.
The former Guardian deputy editor Ian Katz took over in July and reportedly believes that the "playout" is a crucial part of the show, offering a bottle of Champagne from his own wallet for the best one each week.
Critics have accused him of dumbing down the news agenda on BBC 2’s flagship current affairs show.
After Wark’s dance performance writer Mark Seddon stated: “Dumbing down of Newsnight continues apace.”
However, the accusation prompted a reply from Katz who noted the episode had covered from the Chilean election, to the phone hacking trial and asked: “Dumbing down, are you sure?”
After some attacked him on social media last night he added: "All about the mix…original stories, great analysis, lively debate…and a bit of fun. Don't fixate on the fun."
Paxman, used to grilling the political elite, played along with the stunt despite having complained in the past about discussions of tattoos on the programme.
After discussing Cheryl Cole’s tattooed bottom with him, Boris Johnson's sister Rachel said that he tore off his microphone and complained that it was “the most ridiculous discussion I’ve ever chaired on Newsnight”.