As BBC Newsnight interviewer Jeremy Paxman announces his retirement, YouGov finds people firmly approve of his hard-hitting interview style
The announcement of Jeremy Paxman’s retirement from BBC programme Newsnight marked, for many commentators, the end of an era. His confrontational interview-style, often marked by making his interview subjects noticeably uncomfortable, has come to define Mr Paxman’s personal brand – and by extension Newsnight’s, where he has worked for 25 years. And while his retirement has prompted mostly praise of his relentlessness (he once asked Michael Howard the same question 12 times), this has not always been the case, and he has sometimes been criticised for bullying interview subjects.
But British people, for the most part, think his interview style was appropriate. 57% of the British public, say that Jeremy Paxman’s style was ‘just right’ and necessary for getting at the truth. Only 22% pick the alternative option: that the Newsnight interviewer was ‘too aggressive’ and a different approach was in order.
Mr Paxman hasn't always gotten it right with the British public. In August 2013, when hearrived back from a summer break sporting a beard, a YouGov poll found 74% of people with an opinion on the beard gave it a thumbs down. He shaved off the beard in January.
In his statement about the retirement, Mr Paxman, who has received a salary of nearly £1 million in recent years, said it was “time to move on” and that he “should rather like to go to bed at the same time as most people”.