UK

George Monbiot Skins And Cooks A Squirrel Live On Newsnight With James O'Brien

28/08/2015 10:01 BST | Updated 28/08/2015 10:59 BST

TheBBC's flagship news analysis show played host to a "ready steady cook tribute band" on Thursday, broadcasting conservationist George Monbiot butchering a dead squirrel with an axe.

In scenes described by viewers as "bizarre", Newsnight presenter James O'Brien] quizzed his guest on cooking tips before Monbiot marinated the dead animal in lemon juice, fried it, and served two portions - complete with several glasses of red wine.

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The dead squirrel pictured

Monbiot cut off the animal's tail before removing its fur.

Several squirrels, all bought from a farm shop, O'Brien insisted, were used in the segment.

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Here's one they prepared earlier

The LBC presenter observed as 52-year-old Monbiot produced an axe, proceeding to butchers it limbs apart and remove any excess fur.

A bowl of lemons was placed on the table in a bid to spruce up proceedings.

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O'Brien looks on as the squirrel gets chopped up

Once cooked, both men tucked in to enjoy their 'squirrel surprise'.

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O'Brien tucks in

Monbiot tweeted prior to his appearance, commenting it was unlikely to be a frequent occurrence that BBC security would be told to let in a man with an axe.

In a slightly more ominous post he added: "I'm honing the axe at the moment."

One viewer mused that "hard man" and seasoned presenter O'Brien "looked as though he was about to faint/ gag".

Another suggested the conversation that might have taken place at an editorial planning meeting.

While a punter weighed in with their own satirical take on proceedings.

The show's deputy editor clearly knew he was in for a rough ride on Friday.

Leaving the last word to the Financial Times' Janan Ganesh.

Watch the full event unfold below

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