Last night saw Jeremy Paxman follow James Naughtie and Andrew Marr’s example by inadvertently spouting a particular expletive on live TV (although this time it was not in reference to the culture secretary). To mark the occasion, here are five classic Paxman moments.
Taken from the 2005 general election, this clip shows Paxman at his caustically inquisitive best, descending from an awkward exchange — “don’t try and threaten me Mr Galloway, please” — to the pair exchanging outright insults and Galloway walking off.
A compilation of clips showing Paxman’s famously furious reaction to Newsnight replacing financial news with a weather report. He describes the latter as: “the usual folksy nonsense about clouds bubbling up and advice about wearing woolly socks”.
“You’re like the man who walks behind the horse with the bucket”, is how Paxman describes George Osborne’s former ministerial role as shadow chancellor. Osborne stares blankly in disbelief for a moment before replying: “I have to say this is the most meaningless line of questioning I’ve ever heard from you”.
In a 2007 interview with Sir Michael Lyons, chairman of the BBC Trust, conducted after the corporation announced severe cuts from its annual budget, a droll Paxman lists a number of “distinctive” BBC3 programmes such as “Help me, Anthea — I’m Infested”, “My Man Boobs and Me” and “Fat Men Can’t Hunt”.
Newsnight’s most notorious interview saw Paxman ask Howard — then former Home Secretary — whether he had threatened to overrule head of the prison service Derek Lewis over the possible dismissal of Pankhurt Prison governor, John Marriot, a total of 14 times.