I was on BBC5 live last evening doing the Paper reviews and this story came up.

Jeremy Paxman, the broadcaster, will tell of his decades-long career at the BBC as part of a three-book deal for almost £1 million, it has been claimed. The former Newsnight presenter will not pull any punches in his recollections of an illustrious 42-year career at the broadcasting corporation, the Sunday Times said. The second of the three books he will produce with publisher William Collins will tell of his time at the BBC, the paper said, including his experiences of the politicians he interviewed.

My view is that Paxman is entitled to make as much loot as possible from his memoirs and I am sure he will lift more than few rocks so we can see what crawled underneath. The problem is that it took him to LEAVE the Corporation to spill the beans. Can I also add I think he is overrated?

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  1. dez says:

    David Vance,

    Can I also add I think he is overrated?

    Of course you can Mr. Vance; for someone as vain as yourself I would expect nothing less.


    • Henry Wood says:

      Come on then, Dez, do tell us your own unbiased, unexpurgated view of Paxman’s Michael Howard interview.

      You know the one? Same question asked ??? how many times?
      And for which he received plaudits from every left wing commentator of that time and went down in the an(n)als of BBC interviewing history. His style in that “interview” influenced the style of many lesser pieces of BBC chaff who copied him to the very best of their abilities. Which was not much.

      Later, he revealed why he had asked the same question umpteen times and it turned out he was not so clever nor as ruthless as those puff pieces made him out to be.

      What was *your* view, Dez?


      • Jerry Fletcher says:

        I think he did recieve plaudits for that interview but I don’t think who those plaudits came from can be distinguished by their political leanings.

        He appeared to ask the same question repeatedly though because Howard wouldnt answer it.


        • Henry Wood says:

          Well, that is not Paxman’s own explanation. During a 20th anniversary edition of Newsnight, he told Michael Howard:
          … by the time I’d asked the question five or six times… it was clear… that you [Howard] weren’t going to answer it… at which point a voice came in my ear and said “The next piece of tape isn’t cut, you’d better carry on with this for a while” and I’m afraid I couldn’t think of anything else to ask you.”

          So, not quite the Grand Inquisitor after all, just another flash journalist ready to sneer and bully politicians.

          Now, in my book, it is quite OK for the man on the Clapham omnibus to sneer at and bully politicians, but *NOT* if you are an “impartial” BBC journalist.


  2. The Old Bloke says:

    I do not consider myself to be a vainist Dez, but I too think he is overrated. From your comment, you probably think the sun shines out of his backside. Trouble is, when you look at the sun long enough, it makes you go blind.


  3. mikef says:

    I think that just about all interviewers are over rated. They show a scrap of film which usually gives a misleading impression of an issue and then carry on begging the question. Most (not just on the BBC) seem to have their own agenda and mindset so their questions and opinions come from a very narrow context. Andrew Neil is an exception but I can’t think of many more, certainly not Paxman.


    • Richard Pinder says:

      I remember an interviewer called Martin Durkin, but now, apart from Andrew Neil the only Interviewer with an brains on TV today seems to be the RT interviewer, Peter Lavelle, but sadly the RT bias limits his subject remit.


  4. Sinniberg says:

    I suspect whatever stones he turns over in his memoirs it will teach us nothing new about the BBC.

    Does anything surprise us anymore?.

    99% of the time his interviews were nothing but an aggresive, confrontational performance for the tv.

    His interview “style” didn’t achieve anything for anybody and most times nothing was learnt.

    A good interviewer would have asked difficult questions and probed into the issues without lying back in their chair, folding their arms and sneering.


    • Guest Who says:

      I suspect you are right.

      ‘will tell of his time at the BBC, the paper said, including his experiences of the politicians he interviewed’

      Tuned to the nuances of such things, that suggests the dirt will be restricted to those who were certainly at the BBC who he met, but not colleagues.

      Anyway, seems that nice chap who is always really chilled about senior BBC employees forgetting where the chekky comes from (back on the norty step, Jennifer!) has had a word…

      Danny Cohen (@DannyCohen) tweeted at 9:32 AM on Sun, Nov 30, 2014:
      Just spoke to Jeremy Paxman. Story in today’s papers very overblown. No plan to be Mayor of London either!


    • pah says:

      I disagree ;p

      Paxman and others achieve their aim when being aggressive towards politicians.

      It stops them getting their message across.


  5. Miv Tucker says:

    “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”

    Luke, 15, 7.


  6. Jerry Fletcher says:

    ‘he problem is that it took him to LEAVE the Corporation to spill the beans’

    And as it was pointed out to you on ‘BBC5’, Paxman criticised the BBC before he left as well.


    • Henry Wood says:

      Did he really? There’s criticism and there’s criticism.

      Paxman’s criticism fell into the latter category.


      • Jerry Fletcher says:

        In November 2012, Paxman publicly defended George Entwistle after his resignation as Director-General of the BBC in connection with a Newsnight report which falsely implicated Lord McAlpine in the North Wales child abuse scandal. Paxman claimed Entwistle had been “brought low by cowards and incompetents” and criticised appointments of “biddable people” to the BBC in the wake of the Hutton Inquiry, as well as cuts to BBC programme budgets and bloated BBC management.

        That sounds like criticism to me. Of course, you don’t know what category his memoirs will fall into yet….as you dont know what’s in them.


  7. stuart says:

    not to sure what to make about paxman,but for sure i will be interested in what has being going on down there at bbc hq all these years,but why i ask like many bbc presenters has he ended up working at channel 4 who some say or more left wing than fidel castro,it will be very interersting next year to see what politacal line paxman will go down at channel 4 when he heads up there general election coverage.let hope he is not gagged by channel 4 the same way he was at the bbc in his politacal coverage.


  8. deegee says:

    I expect we’ll get ‘funny’ stories about the BBC and ‘scandalous’ stories about the interviewees, especially those whose politics didn’t run to Paxman’s liking. Although ‘retired’ he won’t want to spoil his chances of a consultancy or independent contractor deal with the BBC, in the future.

    BTW Jeremy Paxman, a socialist? It’s there in red and white


  9. hippiepooter says:

    Paxman was the hallmark of everything wrong with the BBC. He sought to ask questions that couldn’t be answered, got the sulk when his ‘genius’ was frustrated by a politician answering his questions and then getting cut off in a strop.

    When the BBC was the pride of Britain, interviewers asked questions to edify the public. It still exists but it’s not the norm, and hasn’t been for a very long time.


  10. Guest Who says:

    He seems to be handling the other side of the interview process with aplomb, and discovering the joys of negotiating the outrage industry’s ever present paid vultures, if the Belfast Telegraph is any guide.