Jeremy Paxman

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Person.png Jeremy Paxman   WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Jeremy Paxman.jpg
Born11 May 1950
Leeds, Yorkshire, England
Alma materMalvern College, St Catharine's College (Cambridge)
Partner • Elizabeth Ann Clough
• Jillian Taylor
SiblingsGiles Paxman
Member ofBritish-American Project
RelativesGiles Paxman
Broadcaster for the BBC. He has been involved with the British-American Project.

Employment.png Presenter of Newsnight

In office
1989 - 18 June 2014

Employment.png Reporter

In office
1972 - 1989

Jeremy Dickson Paxman is an English broadcaster, journalist, author, and television presenter for the BBC. He has been involved with the British-American Project.


He joined the BBC in 1972, initially at BBC Radio Brighton, relocating to London in 1977. In following years, he worked on Tonight and Panorama, becoming a newsreader for the BBC Six O'Clock News and later a presenter on Breakfast Time and University Challenge. In 1989, he became a presenter for the BBC Two programme Newsnight, interviewing many political figures.[1][2] In 2014, Paxman left Newsnight after 25 years as its presenter.[3] Since then, he has done occasional work for Channel 4 News. From its revival in 1994 up until he stepped down from the show in 2023, he presented University Challenge. In 2022, he announced he was standing down, as he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.[4]

Government mouthpiece

In 2003, Prime Minister Tony Blair opted to make the case for the invasion of Iraq via questions from a TV studio audience, mediated by Paxman. The programme is chiefly remembered for the fact that Paxman asked Blair if he and U.S. President Bush prayed together. Blair replied, "No, Jeremy. We don't pray together." To which Paxman replied, "But why not?"[5][6]

In a 2009 interview Paxman claimed that he had been "hoodwinked" by US government propaganda prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003:

As far as I personally was concerned, there came a point with the presentation of the so-called evidence, with the moment when Colin Powell sat down at the UN General Assembly and unveiled what he said was cast-iron evidence of things like mobile, biological weapon facilities and the like...When I saw all of that, I thought, well, 'We know that Colin Powell is an intelligent, thoughtful man, and a sceptical man. If he believes all this to be the case, then, you know, he’s seen the evidence; I haven’t.' Now that evidence turned out to be absolutely meaningless, but we only discover that after the event. So, you know, I’m perfectly open to the accusation that we were hoodwinked. Yes, clearly we were.[7]

In 2005, George Galloway, a former Labour MP now with the anti-war Respect party deposed the Blairite Labour MP Oona King in the Bethnal Green and Bow constituency of East London. Galloway’s victory was remarkable, overcoming a 10,000 majority in the face of the full might of New Labour’s political machine. Media Lens describes how he was attempted ambushed in interviewed by the BBC[8]:

Jeremy Paxman: Mr Galloway, are you proud of having got rid of one of the very few black women in Parliament?

George Galloway: What a preposterous question. I know it’s very late in the night, but wouldn’t you be better starting by congratulating me for one of the most sensational election results in modern history?

JP: Are you proud of having got rid of one of the very few black women in Parliament?

GG: I’m not [pause]. Jeremy, move on to your next question.

JP:You’re not answering that one?

GG: No, because I don’t believe that people get elected because of the colour of their skin. I believe people get elected because of their record and because of their policies. So move on to your next question.[9]


Event Participated in

WEF/Annual Meeting/201422 January 201425 January 2014Switzerland
World Economic Forum
2604 guests in Davos considered "Reshaping The World"
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