Wednesday 17 January 2018

Goodnight, Paxo, we'll miss wicked sense of fun

In his 'Newsnight' swansong, Jeremy Paxman proved he's one of the best, writes Emer O'Kelly

London Mayor Boris Johnson and Jeremy Paxman
London Mayor Boris Johnson and Jeremy Paxman

Emer O'Kelly

'Do you think he's gone a bit nuts?" It was vintage Jeremy Paxman. And the question wasn't about a prancing pop star newly out of multi-drug rehab. It referred to former prime minister Tony Blair, and it was put to Lord Mandelson, architect of Blair's New Labour disaster. And it's exactly what anyone who has been following the Blair self-justifying saga has been wondering.

You could say that the credit belongs to the BBC for its longtime policy of allowing Paxman his arrogant, well-informed, cynical head. Certainly, RTE would run scared from a broadcaster whose intellect so spectacularly matches his confidence.

Just as one suspects that outraged telephone calls would be made from government buildings to the chairman of the RTE Authority as well as the director general following a skewering of any Irish politician which came even close to the Paxman treatment.

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