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Newsnight really doesn't make the weather any more

Paxman, like current affairs TV itself, has hardly changed in 25 years, while digital media has transformed political debate

Any week in which the king of Spain and Jeremy Paxman both abdicate is one to remember. But there's no doubt who left amid the biggest slurp of unctuous adulation. Juan Carlos may have saved a nation for democracy; Jp departed describing the next contender for democratic leadership as "as popular as a flatulent dog in a lift". Oh! how we were all supposed to chortle, and wipe a tear from the eye.

In fact, there was a sinking feeling once the japes of his final show the tandem trip with Boris, the guest gag with Michael Howard, the signoff weather forecast took hold. Have I got old Newsnight for you? Or rather, Grumpy Old Men 2, with Paxman in the Walter Matthau role. Was this weary, sardonic smiler, seen earlier trading coy
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Jeremy Paxman hosts final Newsnight: 'Thank you for watching. Goodbye'

Jeremy Paxman hosted his last ever Newsnight on Wednesday night (June 18).

The 63-year-old presenter, who had led the current affairs series for 25 years, bowed out in a show that featured interviews with London mayor Boris Johnson on a tandem bicycle, former Labour spin doctor Peter Mandelson and ex-Home Secretary Michael Howard.

Paxo's Stuffing! Jeremy Paxman's 12 best Newsnight moments

Paxman closed the broadcast with the message: "Thank you for watching Newsnight. I hope you continue to enjoy it. Goodnight and goodbye."

After the credits, he stood in front of a weather map to present one final forecast: "And tomorrow's weather - more of the same. I don't know why they make such a fuss about it."

During the programme, Paxman jokingly asked Johnson why London's Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme - otherwise known as "Boris Bikes" - were "such a failure".

Johnson insisted that the scheme was a "howling success" and
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Jeremy Paxman's top 10 Newsnight moments - in videos

As the arch interviewer steps down from Newsnight we round up the best clips from his 25 years on the show, from the skewering of Chloe Smith to the 'night of 12 times' with Michael Howard, via some scorn for the weather

Michael White: Jeremy Paxman represents the best and worst of the media elite

It's Jeremy Paxman's last time in the Newsnight chair tonight and the BBC have put out this teaser of the interviewer and London Mayor Boris Johnson sharing a tandem. Ahead of his final show, we look back on Paxman's best moments:

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Paxo's Stuffing! Jeremy Paxman's 12 best Newsnight moments

After 25 years, Jeremy Paxman is quitting BBC Two's Newsnight.

No longer will we see politicians quaking in their boots, producers being slammed live on TV and awkward chats with rappers.

To mark the end of an era from quite possibly Britain's greatest news broadcaster of the last two decades, Digital Spy has rounded up just some of the classic moments of Paxo on Newsnight.

1. Paxman/Rascal

Possibly the sign of things to come in terms of Newsnight incorporating surprising guests and skits (see Cookie Monster and 'Thriller'). Paxman took part in a rather bizarre interview with Dizzee Rascal following Barack Obama's presidential victory in 2008. When asking Dizzee he believed in political parties in Britain, the rapper replied: "Yeah, they exist, I believe in them. But I don't know if I care," adding: "If you believe, you can achieve, innit." The awkward silences after Dizzee's points are also classic.
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Fire Over England: the untold story of the Spanish Armada

Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh look gorgeous but it's Flora Robson as Queen Elizabeth who steals the show

Fire Over England (1937)

Director: William K Howard

Entertainment grade: B+

History grade: C

In 1588, the Spanish Armada sailed against Elizabeth I's England.

International relations

Philip II's Spain is beleaguered by English pirates. The Spanish ambassador turns up at the court of Queen Elizabeth (Flora Robson) to protest. Elizabeth insists she has nothing to do with piracy, and considers herself Philip's loving sister (as history buffs will know, he was married to her half-sister, Mary I). "His portrait still hangs in a place of honour," she assures the ambassador. "My king does not ask your grace to hang his portrait, but to hang his enemies," the ambassador zings back.

Piracy

Meanwhile, fictional English pirate's son Michael Ingolby (Laurence Olivier) is aboard a ship when it is taken by the Inquisition. He jumps
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Boris Johnson's father: BBC interview was 'disgusting' journalism

Stanley Johnson criticises Eddie Mair over bruising encounter – but London mayor concedes presenter did a 'splendid job'

London mayor Boris Johnson's father Stanley has hit out at Eddie Mair's interview with his son on BBC1's Andrew Marr Show, labelling it a "disgusting" piece of journalism.

However, his son has conceded that Mair had done a "splendid job".

Johnson Jr's encounter with Mair on the Sunday morning show was labelled a "bicycle crash" – after the mayor's penchant for two-wheeled transport – and ended with Mair, presenter of Radio 4's Pm programme, telling him: "You're a nasty piece of work, aren't you?"

Johnson Sr told London talk radio station Lbc on Monday: "I thought Eddie Mair's interview was one of the most disgusting pieces of journalism I've listened to for a very long time. The BBC sank about as low as it could."

Johnson Sr told presenter Nick Ferrari
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Boris Johnson documentary: are his media-keen family a potential liability?

The mayor of London's family are revealing on Johnson's desire to be prime minister in Michael Cockerell's new documentary

Admirers of Boris Johnson frequently pay tribute to – and his detractors just as often lament – the fact that, when it comes to the current mayor of London, the usual rules of politics do not seem to apply. So probably only Johnson could have agreed to give an interview on The Andrew Marr Show to promote a documentary with which he had co-operated, and then end up both fluffing the interview and trashing the film, Boris Johnson: The Irrepressible Rise, which is screened tonight at 9pm on BBC2.

It is also hard to imagine another politician who, after becoming the subject of a one-hour profile, would be trumped within 24 hours by his sister fronting a doc of her own: How to Be a Lady: an Elegant History presented by Rachel Johnson (BBC4, 9pm,
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Kate Dazzles Onlookers as Queen of the … Garden?

Does the Duchess of Cambridge have a green thumb? Kate tried her hand at growing vegetables during a gardening project in Newcastle Wednesday, and by all accounts, she knew what she was doing. Community gardener Emma Hughes, who hosted Kate at Elswick Park, told People that at home, the royal "grows her own potatoes in sacks. We were digging the potatoes and she was asking about it. She said ours were bigger. She said she only got small ones this year." Kate met children, who are taught about how food is made and where it comes from, via the Edible Elswick project,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Jeremy Paxman vs Chloe Smith: 'Is this some sort of joke?!' - video

Jeremy Paxman vs Chloe Smith: 'Is this some sort of joke?!' - video
"Ah Paxo, I'll miss him when he has that massive coronary," said The Thick of It's Malcolm Tucker of Jeremy Paxman. Judging from yesterday's battle with Treasury minister Chloe Smith on Newsnight, you can see why. It's been over 15 years since Paxman asked Michael Howard once or twice if he threatened to overrule the head of the prison service, but last night's sparring shows that at the age of 62, he's still definitely got it. Fast forward to six minutes for all the action. With all the ire he usually reserves for the less-enlightened contestants on University Challenge, Paxman seems less than impressed with Smith's attempts to evade his questioning over the government's latest budget U-turn. "Is it hard for you to defend a policy you don't agree with?" he splutters (more)
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Sir David Frost: 'Today, Lord Lucan is as good as we'll get'

The superlative interviewer on the one that got away – or has he? – and his new show on BBC4. And after almost half a century working on TV, what surprises him most?

How do you interview Sir David Frost, the man who conducted the famous Richard Nixon interview, about the art of interviewing? It feels like running an egg-sucking seminar for grandmothers. Frost had more than 28 hours with Nixon. I had just under an hour with Frost to talk to him about his new show, Frost on Interviews, which BBC4 broadcasts on Tuesday at 9pm.

Featuring some of television's greatest inquisitors, such as Michael Parkinson and Melvyn Bragg, it tracks the history of the interview from its birth, with the profoundly soft encounters of the 1950s contrasting with Jeremy Paxman's celebrated grilling of Michael Howard. Paxman declined to appear on the programme, which concludes by asking if the rise of
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Wild liberties take the shine off Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Yes, the costumes are amazing. But too little actual history in Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth: part 2 lets ridiculousness reign

Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)

Director: Shekhar Kapur

Entertainment grade: C

History grade: E

In 1588, the Spanish Armada headed for England's shores.

Style

The film begins in 1585, with Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen) flinging his new cloak over a puddle so Queen Elizabeth (Cate Blanchett) need not step in it. Later, he introduces her to tobacco, a potato and two Native Americans brought back from his transatlantic expedition. All this is more or less true, but it's hard to notice the history because the queen is wearing a giant chrysanthemum on her head. While the first Elizabeth movie faithfully reproduced Elizabeth's outfits from courtly portraits, The Golden Age kits her out in iridescent lace collars, foot-high plumes of exotic feathers, electric violet and lime-green satin, and marquee-sized gauze cloaks suspended from architectural hoops.
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Frost/Nixon voted greatest on-air grilling | Media Monkey

And the greatest broadcast interview ever is ... David Frost's interrogation of Richard Nixon in 1977. It wasn't a bad film either. This is according to visitors to the Radio Times website, which held a poll to coincide with the BBC College of Journalism's art of the interview season. A change of pace at number two – as far as I remember Nixon wasn't asked to choose his favourite tunes – with Morrissey's appearance on Desert Island Discs in 2009, and Victoria Derbyshire's recent quizzing of Ken Clarke about rape on BBC Radio 5 Live in third place. What else makes the list? Well, there's the Paxo and Michael Howard show from Newsnight from 1997, which comes fourth, Dennnis Potter's 1994 interview with Melvyn Bragg at number six, and at number 11, er... Michael Parkinson's infamous encounter with Rod Hull and Emu from 1976.

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The day I faced Alex Guttenplan on University Challenge

We thought we could beat the team from Emmanuel College, Cambridge. We were wrong

I have just seen Alex Guttenplan and his Emmanuel team swat aside their opponents, St John's College, Oxford, to win this year's University Challenge trophy. I sympathise with the defeated students; I was a contestant on this year's show. My Jesus, Oxford, team exited in the quarter-finals following a heavy defeat to the eventual victors.

We did not see it coming. Emmanuel had started terribly, scraping through to later rounds via a play-off system. They were not going to stand in our way – but we would humour them. In the green room before filming, we made polite small talk – "So what brings you here? You always ruined your family holidays by repeating endless lists of trivia? Me too!" – while trying to psych out our opponents. They were all pleasant but quiet. Guttenplan kept himself to himself,
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What stars really think: watch their TV body language

Psychologist Peter Collett reckons he knows whether Blair was telling porkies, Brüno and Em were faking it, and how Simon Cowell stays top dog

You're at a party and, as you're leaving, the host and hostess are at the door and someone ahead of you says, "That was wonderful, thank you so much." Then the next person says, "That was magnificent, I don't know how to thank you." Then comes your turn and you think, "I've got to beat that", so you find yourself saying, "I don't think I've ever been to a party as wonderful, you must come and spend the weekend."

This, says behavioural psychologist Peter Collett is called Appreciation Escalation and is something that happens a hell of a lot on the panels of TV talent shows and, of course, in real life.

"As you're leaving, you think, 'Why the stuff did I say all that? I don't even like them,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

What stars really think: watch their TV body language

Psychologist Peter Collett reckons he knows whether Blair was telling porkies, Brüno and Em were faking it, and how Simon Cowell stays top dog

You're at a party and, as you're leaving, the host and hostess are at the door and someone ahead of you says, "That was wonderful, thank you so much." Then the next person says, "That was magnificent, I don't know how to thank you." Then comes your turn and you think, "I've got to beat that", so you find yourself saying, "I don't think I've ever been to a party as wonderful, you must come and spend the weekend."

This, says behavioural psychologist Peter Collett is called Appreciation Escalation and is something that happens a hell of a lot on the panels of TV talent shows and, of course, in real life.

"As you're leaving, you think, 'Why the stuff did I say all that? I don't even like them,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

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