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Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: John Humphrys, 22 September 2005

... have tried to damage Humphrys by taking him on in the one area in which he truly excels. Like Jeremy Paxman, Humphrys is frequently criticised for his aggressive interview technique. But if Tony Blair is capable of turning Paxman’s savagery to his own advantage – he did well in his encounter with ...

Just what are those teeth for?

Ian Hamilton, 24 April 1997

... he said) with Michael Foot. Sadly, when Vidal showed up on one of Newsnight’s election panels, Jeremy Paxman failed to cut him down to size. In fact, he didn’t even try. Vidal was allowed to preen himself at leisure. Next to him, the two British panellists – Lord Archer and Fay Weldon – seemed dwarfishly over-anxious to make points: Archer, of ...

Short Cuts

Daniel Soar: Books of the Year of the Year, 18 December 2008

... papers get up to all the time: they’re a distillation of the art form. And they are an art form. Jeremy Paxman writes in the Guardian of his unexpected admiration for Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland, a ‘strangely mesmerising’ novel about ‘one man’s obsessive plan to build a state-of-the-art cricket ground in New York’. In the Observer, not ...

Who ruins Britain?

Peter Clarke, 22 November 1990

Friends in High Places: Who runs Britain? 
by Jeremy Paxman.
Joseph, 370 pp., £16.99, September 1990, 0 7181 3154 1
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The Sunday Times Book of the Rich 
by Philip Beresford.
Weidenfeld, 336 pp., £18.95, October 1990, 0 297 81115 0
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... us in the last chapter, ‘a simple question’ states the theme and explains the origin of Jeremy Paxman’s book: Who runs Britain? There are fitful efforts to generate a sense of mystery about the answer. Thus at the outset ‘the only serious answer’ is mooted in terms which invite suspicion that we might be in for a counter-intuitive ...

At Tate Britain

Peter Campbell: Thomas Girtin, 22 August 2002

... best views in Britain. The top two, selected from the most popular nominees by a panel including Jeremy Paxman and Joanna Trollope, were Salisbury Cathedral from the water meadows – Constable taught us that one – and Buttermere, which we learned from Turner. Photographers have also put their mark on nature, using devices learned from, or at least ...

Delivering the Leadership

Nick Cohen: Get Mandy, 4 March 1999

Mandy: The Authorised Biography of Peter Mandelson 
by Paul Routledge.
Simon and Schuster, 302 pp., £17.99, January 1999, 9780684851754
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... in the autumn. On 28 October Matthew Parris, the politician turned journalist, said in passing to Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight that Mandelson was gay. He wasn’t breaking a confidence: the News of the World had outed the minister in the Eighties. But there had been no public reference to his sexuality since in the mainstream media. Mandelson thought that ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: Meeting the Royals, 19 February 2015

... The Heart of a King (W.H. Allen, £20), begins by reminding people of an earlier claim, made by Jeremy Paxman, that Charles regularly instructs his cook to boil seven eggs each morning in the hope of getting a soft one. But then quickly quotes a former private secretary who says this can’t be true, because Charles hates waste. This is Mayer’s ...

Notes on the Election

David Runciman: Power v. Power, 9 April 2015

... Husain on Today – but the men set the tone. Looming behind them all is the ghostly presence of Jeremy Paxman and what he said was the unspoken question in any political interview: why is this lying bastard lying to me? The reason journalists think like this isn’t that they have an unspoken political agenda of their own, something they think the ...


Peter Campbell: At the new British Library, 27 November 1997

... up to it? It is all very well for Bernard Shaw and Karl Marx (even for Mandy Rice-Davies and Jeremy Paxman, who the Library, a little coyly, include in the list of celebrated readers they hand out to the press), but most readers are not famous or notorious; some of us are vague and dilatory – doubtful about our right to take up space which might ...

Cod on Ice

Andy Beckett: The BBC, 10 July 2003

Panorama: Fifty Years of Pride And Paranoia 
by Richard Lindley.
Politico’s, 404 pp., £18.99, September 2002, 1 902301 80 3
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The Harder Path: The Autobiography 
by John Birt.
Time Warner, 532 pp., £20, October 2002, 0 316 86019 0
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... broader journalistic culture and society that produced it. In a brief but unguarded foreword by Jeremy Paxman, who was a reporter on the programme in the early 1980s (part of the pleasure of the book is coming across current media grandees in the adolescent phase of their careers), this self-deprecation verges on the self-destructive. ‘Just about ...


Chris Mullin: A report from Westminster, 25 June 2009

... when I laughed he said: ‘Several people have mentioned your name.’ And tonight, on Newsnight, Jeremy Paxman asked if I was running. Much as I’d love to, I can’t, of course, because in a little while I will be gone . . . 20 May. The Paxman interview has set a hare running. North-East media very ...


Andrew O’Hagan: The Hearing of Rosemary West, 9 March 1995

... me is reading the Mail. His shoulders rattle, and he sniggers, as he looks at a broad picture of Jeremy Paxman under a topical headline: ‘Time to Stop the Bully Boys of Television.’ The new proprietor of the Kingshill Inn is having a good time this week. Just up the hill from the court, his pub becomes the official bunker for hacks both rowdy and ...

The Lady in the Back Seat

Thomas Jones: Robert Harris’s Alternative Realities, 15 November 2007

The Ghost 
by Robert Harris.
Hutchinson, 310 pp., £18.99, October 2007, 978 0 09 179626 6
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... the 1980s he wrote non-fiction books on such subjects as chemical and biological weapons (with Jeremy Paxman), the Falklands War, Neil Kinnock, the Hitler Diaries and Bernard Ingham. A good friend of Peter Mandelson’s, he has long been close to the inner circles of New Labour. As well as there having been no pesky research to slow down the writing ...

Feel what it’s like

James Davidson: Pagans, Jews and Christians, 2 March 2000

A World Full of Gods: Pagans, Jews and Christians in the Roman Empire 
by Keith Hopkins.
Weidenfeld, 402 pp., £25, November 1999, 0 297 81982 8
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... become edited clips commented on in the cutting room, where Jeffrey Axeman seems to be both Jeremy Paxman and the Pharisaic Seeker after Smooth Things, the fundamentalist Christian is the Devil and the director is both God and the author’s son; all this can help readers share the experience of being a historian interpreting documents and ...

It’ll all be over one day

James Meek: Our Man in Guantánamo, 8 June 2006

Enemy Combatant: A British Muslim’s Journey to Guantánamo and Back 
by Moazzam Begg and Victoria Brittain.
Free Press, 395 pp., £18.99, February 2006, 0 7432 8567 0
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... and escape your own role.’ MI5 Matt visited Begg in Guantánamo and left him a gift, a book by Jeremy Paxman called The English: A Portrait of a People. Begg read it five times, partly because he was trying to work out if Matt was accusing him of treason, and partly because he was fascinated by Paxman’s ...

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