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Jeremy Paxman

Jeremy Paxman is an English journalist, author and broadcaster, best known for his forthwright interrogational style when interviewing politicians. He has worked for the BBC since 1977 and makes regular appearances on BBC2’s Newsnight and is the question master of University Challenge.

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Jeremy Paxman

Jeremy Paxman Overview

Jeremy Paxman is an English journalist, author and broadcaster, best known for his forthwright interrogational style when interviewing politicians. He has worked for the BBC since 1977 and makes regular appearances on BBC2’s Newsnight and is the question master of University Challenge.

Paxman started his career at the BBC in a graduate trainee programme in 1972, first working in local radio at BBC Radio Brighton. He has reported from Belfast, Beirut, Uganda and Central America, and read the Six O’Clock News for two years before moving to BBC1’s Breakfast Time programme. In 1989 he became Newsnight’s presenter.

In 1997 he interviewed Michael Howard in what became the programme’s most notorious interview, asking him the same question 12 times in succession whilst Howard gave continuously evasive answers. This won him the 1998 Royal Television Society’s Interviewer of the Year Award (he subsequently won it again in 2002 and 2007).

Paxman is also famous for asking Blair whether he and U.S. President Bush prayed together in the interview when Tony Blair made a case for invading Iraq in front of a TV studio audience. In 1998, Paxman won a Royal Television Society award but during the 2005 General Election some viewers complained to the BBC that Paxman’s questioning of party leaders was rude and aggressive. In a Radio Times poll of 3,000 people in 2006, he was voted the fourth "scariest" TV celebrity.

Other TV work includes presenting the weekly TV programme review Did You See?, You Decide, and University Challenge since 1994. He appeared as himself in the BBC comedy The Thick of It in 2007, and has worked on historical documentaries The Victorians (2009) and Empire (2012). As well as publishing several books, Paxman also presented the flagship BBC Radio 4 show Start the Week from 1998 to 2002.

Paxman has received a great number of awards for his work, including BAFTA’s Richard Dimbleby Award for ‘Outstanding Presenter in the Factual Arena’ in both 1996 and 2000.

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