Best Newsnight Moments from the past 25 years.
Jeremy Paxman has stepped down as presenter of Newsnight after 25 glorious years of expertly intimidating politicians as the people’s voice.
Leeds-born Paxman has been criticised over the years for being overly aggressive, intimidating and condescending, but in confronting the secretive world of politics he has been equally lauded for being tough and incisive. Over the past quarter of a century we have been entertained and shocked in equal measure as he ruthlessly tore apart domestic and international politicians, getting the answers we, the public, want to hear (regardless of how many times he had to ask).
The presenter’s final outing featured and interview with London mayor Boris Johnson while on a tandem, with the studio turning to dark after he said his final ‘Goodnight and goodbye’, although his real sign off came shortly after when he returned to present the weather, remarking: “And tomorrow’s weather more of the same, I don’t know why they make such a fuss about it.”
Channel 4 presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy or the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg are favourites to replace him, although the BBC is keeping cards close to its chest. Until then, let’s have a look at the best Paxman interviews from the past 25 years.
Paxman vs Blair
Tony Blair was, and still is, a media pro. He can skirt any question, smile through any retort and fire back at any accusation. But in this interview Paxman backed him into a corner on numerous issues that he simply couldn’t escape from.
Paxman vs Brand
It’s time for a spiritual revolution! Russell Brand takes a break from comedy to step into the world of politics, editing an edition of the New Statesman and getting caught up in an endless frenzy of big words but little ideas.
Paxman vs Howard
This is the most recalled encounter of Newsnight and stands as one of the best dressing downs of a politician ever. Clearly frustrated with Michael Howard’s political meandering he repeated the same question 12 times.
Paxman vs Smith
Paxman got his teeth into the hapless 30-year-old Treasury minister Chloe Smith in 2012 with disastrous consequences for the young politician. He branded Osborne a ‘coward’ for sending Smith, who had no answer to questions on a rise in fuel duty and other monetary matters.
Paxman vs Black
What started out in a civil manner soon turned into an out right brawl, with Paxman labelling Conrad Black a crook.