Jeremy Paxman Leaves Newsnight: The One Time Someone Actually Out-Paxoed Paxman

Remember The One Time Someone Actually Destroyed Paxman

He has taken on most of Westminster's toughest and wiliest operators, and they have succumbed, he is one of the most fearless and feared interviewers ever to dominate the BBC.

And as Jeremy Paxman finally bows out of presenting Newsnight after 25 years at the helm, many politicians will sleep a little easier, secure in the knowledge that they won't have to defend their policies from the programme's formidable host.

But in his 25 years as Newsnight's grand inquisitor has Paxman ever been left rattled?


The irascible anchor, infamous for giving a savaging to interviewees, may have thought he was in for an easy ride when he took on the Welsh politician of Plaid Cymru, Dr Eurfyl ap Gwilym.

But as Paxman began laying into the economics expert over a variety of Government figures and public expenditure, things start to go really, really wrong for the Newsnight host.

In an image far removed from the steely argument assassin with whom millions of viewers are familiar, Paxman was reduced to stammering and leafing through pages of notes after being comprehensively out-manoeuvred by the Welsh economic adviser.


The broadcaster was left flummoxed during an argument over why Plaid was calling for more cash for Wales when the country apparently already got more than every English region.

But in an example of how well-presented statistics can give you the edge in an argument, the Plaid adviser pointed out that London is in England and gets 115% of average UK public funding per head against 112% for Wales.

Popping on his glasses and faffing around with papers, Paxman can be heard uttering an anguished "Urghhhh Gawwwwwd," before trying to suggest that London was not a region.

With a final knock out blow, Dr ap Gwilym suggested Paxman do his homework and cheerfully added that London is classified as a region by the Treasury.

Dr Eurfyl ap Gwilym

Reacting after the interview, Dr ap Gwilym said: “I suspected I was ahead when I had to assure him that London was in England.

“I think when you’re talking about a subject like this, you are duty bound to do your homework and get your statistics right. I thought it was a poor show that he hadn’t made sure he was properly briefed.”

The recording of the interview has since become the stuff of legend and received over 50,000 hits on YouTube within the first few days of its release in 2010.

A Facebook group called We love Dr Eurfyl ap Gwilym! still has 1,477 supporters.


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