UK
02/05/2014 09:51 BST | Updated 02/05/2014 09:59 BST

Eddie Mair Favourite To Be In Jeremy Paxman's Newsnight Chair, But Is Russell Brand Also In The Running?

PA

Eddie Mair is the hot tip to replace Jeremy Paxman as the chief presenter on Newsnight, according to the latest slashed odds.

Current favourites are Laura Kuenssberg and Emily Maitlis, both already correspondents and presenters on the BBC2 programme.

Russell Brand, whose sparring with Paxman over his decision not to vote became a viral sensation, is the rank outside at 500/1, William Hill said.

eddie mair

Eddie Mair is the hot tip to replace Jeremy Paxman as the chief presenter on Newsnight

The bookmaker has slashed odds on Mair to be given the Newsnight chair, from 14/1 to 7/1.

The softly-spoken Scot has long been touted as the next Paxman after his vigorous rattling of London Mayor Boris Johnson, in an interview that became known #BorisNightMair.

Standing in for Andrew Marr on his Sunday morning show, Mair challenged the Mayor on lying over his affairs, making up quotes and his secret aspirations to be Prime Minister, leaving Johnson looking uncharacteristically wounded and angry.

Mair has occasionally hosted the programme in the past, but has previously said he has no aspirations for a permanent role there, or to replace John Humphrys on Radio 4 Today.

"I don't want Jeremy's job," he said in his Radio Times column in the week following his Johnson interview. "Or John's. Or Andrew's. I like mine.

"Though my contract is up soon and I haven't heard anything, so if you run a radio or TV station and you think there's a future for a 47-year-old in a bad wig - call my agent."

His most significant appearance on the programme what when he was called in to present on November 2012 on the night it had to give public apology to Lord McAlpine, who had been falsely accused of abusing children.

Mair ended by saying: “Newsnight will be back on Monday, probably."

WHO IS IN THE RUNNING?

  • Evens Laura Kuenssberg
  • 4/1 Emily Maitlis
  • 7/1 Eddie Mair
  • 8/1 Nick Robinson
  • 10/1 Gavin Esler, John Humphrys, Kirsty Wark
  • 14/1 Piers Morgan
  • 16/1 Adam Boulton, David Dimbleby, Jeremy Vine
  • 20/1 Stephanie Flanders
  • 25/1 Andrew Neil, Ian Hislop, Krishnan Guru-Murphy
  • 33/1 Charlie Stayt, Huw Edwards, Jon Snow, Peter Sissons, Sophie Raworth
  • 40/1 Kelvin McKenzie
  • 50/1 Fiona Bruce
  • 100/1 Kay Burley
  • 500/1 Russell Brand