UK

Paxman's Last Newsnight: Presenter Leaves Show Having Pioneered Bruising Interview Style

18/06/2014 03:09 BST | Updated 19/06/2014 03:59 BST
BBC

UPDATE: Paxman's Last Newsnight Sees Grand Inquisitor Take On Boris, Mandy And Michael Howard

Jeremy Paxman's 25 years with Newsnight has seen him make headlines more than once. Perhaps the most famous example came during the course of an interview when he asked Conservative politician Michael Howard the same question 12 times in succession but still failed to get an answer he deemed satisfactory.

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Other victims of his probing approach include former prime minister Tony Blair, who was asked if he and US president George W Bush "prayed together", and George Galloway who quit an interview live on air during an election count. His sardonic approach goes beyond politics, he once introduced a weather report with the words: "And for tonight's weather - it's April, what do you expect?"

Describing Paxman's on-screen style, the show's boss Ian Katz said: "Most of that is hammy, part of his shtick, and people love him for that, just as they love him for asking the same question 15 times or raising his eyebrow with such scepticism it seems the interviewee will dissolve in the chair."

Away from Newsnight, he showed a more soft-hearted side of himself when he appeared in genealogy programme, Who Do You Think You Are? and promptly broke down in tears after learning of his ancestors' struggle in the poverty of a Glasgow tenement block.

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