Jeremy Paxman

Jeremy Paxman

Newsnight, University Challenge

Synopsis

The former doyen of Newsnight now writes for The Financial Times as well as holding the nation’s budding elite to account on University Challenge.

Biography

The former Newsnight anchor Jeremy Paxman is amongst the most respected and influential broadcasters in the UK renown for his tough questioning of powerful figures of the day. He is no less feared by student and professional contestants as quizmaster of University Challenge.

An award-winning journalist, Jeremy began his career covering the Northern Ireland troubles in the 1970s, then joined Tonight and Panorama as an investigative reporter. After a spell as a foreign correspondent filing reports from the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, he moved inside the studio on the Six O’Clock News and Breakfast Time.

Jeremy became synonymous with Newsnight over his 25-year tenure on the show. His confrontations with the great and good became broadcasting legend with his aggressive style often the target of criticism, parody and applause. Some of his best-remembered interviews include his repeated questioning of Home Secretary Michael Howard, his listing of Richard Desmond’s adult publications to Tony Blair, his political debate with Russell Brand, and encounters with Dizzee Rascal, Nick Griffin, Conrad Black and Silvio Berlusconi. His disdain for weather forecasts is also well known.

Away from hard news, Jeremy interviewed writers and thinkers on Radio 4’s Start The Week. He hosted a critically acclaimed and sell-out Edinburgh Fringe show, PAXO. He has written several books including On Royalty, The Political Animal, Friends in High Places: Who Runs Britain? and The English: Portrait of a People. He presented the documentary series and wrote the accompanying book Empire, a study of the good and bad sides of Britain’s imperial history, and likewise the series and book Britain’s Great War.

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