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Thomas Jones: John Humphrys

22 September 2005
... a little absurd, if not very surprising, that the government, or at least one of its supporters, should have tried to damage Humphrys by taking him on in the one area in which he truly excels. Like JeremyPaxman, 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 ...
24 April 1997
... It was a relief to learn that several of Vidal’s hours here have been spent discussing Montaigne (so he said) with Michael Foot. Sadly, when Vidal showed up on one of Newsnight’s election panels, JeremyPaxman 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 ...
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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... As the subtitle indicates, as the author tells us on the first page, and as he reminds us in the last chapter, ‘a simple question’ states the theme and explains the origin of JeremyPaxman’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 ...

At Tate Britain

Peter Campbell: Thomas Girtin

22 August 2002
... hundred years ago in English topographic art. Country Life recently asked its readers to nominate the best views in Britain. The top two, selected from the most popular nominees by a panel including JeremyPaxman 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 ...

Short Cuts

Daniel Soar: Books of the Year of the Year

18 December 2008
... reviews too, so in a way these terse but impassioned recommendations are a purer version of what all papers get up to all the time: they’re a distillation of the art form. And they are an art form. JeremyPaxman 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 ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: Meeting the Royals

19 February 2015
... that claimed otherwise would be considered a letdown. The new biography by Catherine Mayer, Charles: The Heart of a King (W.H. Allen, £20), begins by reminding people of an earlier claim, made by JeremyPaxman, 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 ...

Notes on the Election

David Runciman: Power v. Power

8 April 2015
... are not all men – Emily Maitlis and Kirsty Wark on Newsnight, and Sarah Montague and Mishal Husain on Today – but the men set the tone. Looming behind them all is the ghostly presence of JeremyPaxman 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 ...

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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... praise of his once and future king in the leader columns. The paper was repeating a giddy pattern set in the autumn. On 28 October Matthew Parris, the politician turned journalist, said in passing to JeremyPaxman 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 ...

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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... enterprise with important strengths and weaknesses, and that these have something to tell us about the broader journalistic culture and society that produced it. In a brief but unguarded foreword by JeremyPaxman, 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 ...

Diary

Peter Campbell: At the new British Library

27 November 1997
... drink tea with. What is very different is the lavishness, the pomp almost, of the ambience. Are we really up to it? It is all very well for Bernard Shaw and Karl Marx (even for Mandy Rice-Davies and JeremyPaxman, 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 – ...

Diary

Chris Mullin: A report from Westminster

25 June 2009
... moi. ‘Mr Speaker Mullin,’ Nick Robinson called as I was on the phone in the Members’ Lobby, and when I laughed he said: ‘Several people have mentioned your name.’ And tonight, on Newsnight, JeremyPaxman 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 ...

Diary

Andrew O’Hagan: The Hearing of Rosemary West

9 March 1995
... of everyone else. During a fag break – a ten-minute adjournment – the guy on the steps in front of me is reading the Mail. His shoulders rattle, and he sniggers, as he looks at a broad picture of JeremyPaxman 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 ...

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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... working on both Newsnight and Panorama, and then from 1987 as political editor of the Observer. During the 1980s he wrote non-fiction books on such subjects as chemical and biological weapons (with JeremyPaxman), 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 ...

How Does It Add Up?

Neal Ascherson: The Burns Cult

12 March 2009
The Bard: Robert Burns, a Biography 
by Robert Crawford.
Cape, 466 pp., £20, January 2009, 978 0 224 07768 2
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... struggling to feed a family and navigating always on the brink of political or financial disaster, achieved so much before he died at the age of 37. Not all that he produced was good. The other day, JeremyPaxman dismissed his work as ‘sentimental doggerel’. Some of it was. Of the poems, as opposed to the songs, maybe only a dozen are really successful. But the songs, based on airs which he ...

Not No Longer but Not Yet

Jenny Turner: Mark Fisher’s Ghosts

9 May 2019
k-punk: The Collected and Unpublished Writings of Mark Fisher 
edited by Darren Ambrose.
Repeater, 817 pp., £25, November 2018, 978 1 912248 28 5
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... of David Cameron by Richard Seymour, all of which grew from their authors’ blogposts. Such works amounted to ‘a kernel of a whole new left public’, according to another of Fisher’s friends, Jeremy Gilbert, professor of cultural studies at the University of East London. ‘As much as anything adverts for the very idea of critical thought.’The first Mark Fisher Memorial Lecture, at Goldsmiths ...

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