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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: January 26, 2010 @ 5:09 pm

    Newsnight at 30

    Harry McGee

    I’m not a technophobe like Charlie Bird (nor some other of his quirky characteristics – Harry McGee has not started speaking about himself in the third person yet as if he himself  were the subject of all his musings).

    The reason for that statement? I looked at Newsnight’s 30th anniversary broadcast on the web last night and it was really excellent. I particularly liked Martha Kearney’s piece on how politics has been reported by the programme over the years.

    It includes Jeremy Paxman’s famous interrogation of Michael Howard, of course! Plus a few other gems, some of which I had not seen before.

    Despite my best efforts I couldn’t transfer the clip into the blog (the BBC video player isn’t as facilitative as You Tube).

    But it’s worth watching. All I can offer is the link and here it is! Enjoy

    • Blimey O'Riley says:

      ‘Newsnight’ is the ONLY current affairs programme worth watching and then only when the force majeure that is Paxo is in the role of Grand Inquisitor. I watched Shaun Woodward recently and even before the interview started his body language i.e. sat sideways on facing slightly away from his nemesis, half slumped in his chair, betrayed his fear..think ‘The Thick of it’ send up…’ Talking of current affairs I would dearly like to see the Paxman to ‘stick it’ to the Robinson’s. It’s a shame they’ve ditched Kirsty Wark she was equally terrific . . . and actually ‘arry you have started referring to yourself in the third person!

    • Dan Sullivan says:

      I only got the final 30/20 minutes, nice that it had what looked like the full Specials line up to do “too much too young” at the end.

      What is the longest a political/news show has lasted here? We had seven days, and today tonight before Prime Time. Never understood the point of the name changes.

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      Shame, Ireland has never produced a political programme that comes close to something as substantive as Newsnight - not even Today Tonight came close.

      Every single political programme in Irish media now is tainted by the politics of whoever presents it. We all know exactly who they support and vote for – you can’t say the same about those in the UK.

      It’s perhaps a reflection of how the media are part of the problem of the poor quality of Irish civil society where there is total silence in response to any attempt to hold politics to account or lead a debate on why we accept such low standards in everything.

    • Blimey O'Riley says:

      I thought I’d posted a comment in reply to this…was it considered immoderate? If so, why so…?

    • says:

      Love Newsnight, but will really only watch it when the maestro is in the chair.
      He knows when to cut through the media training of many politicians and pin them to the wall, and he knows his subject, he is generally fair.
      It doesn’t hurt that he is easy on the eye either which is more than can be said for any other political presenter. I guess Jon Stewart of the Daily show would count, but it is strictly speaking comedy.
      MiniMe just doesn’t cut the mustard and has no sartorial flair.

    • says:

      I am a big fan of Paxo’s weather reports (“Its November what do you expect” or “Just look out the window”)
      He fought tooth and nail with the Beeb to resist having a weather report as it is irrelevant to the programme and when they overruled him, he got so hilariously sarcastic about it ;o)

    • Blimey O'Riley says:

      @ 5 Couldn’t agree more re the Paxmaster…but you’ll have to get in the queue…Easy on the eye? not in a conventional way but what I’d call ugly/sexy…You can have Jon Stewart

    • Harry says:

      I love Paxman. That weary cynicism and the unique biological trait of unbelieving eyebrows. Genius. He can be a bit trite though. His interview with the rapper Dizzee Rascal was excruciating.

    • Blimey O'Riley says:

      Didn’t catch Dizzee Rascal interview, but I know what you mean, on the rare occasions he dips it’s a bit of a shock to the system, still at least it shows he’s human! Prefer him when he’s in his comfort zone with the Big Beasts…Paxtastic! You’ve got to watch him on ‘University Challenge’, especially with the spoddy Oxbridge lot. Sometimes a bluestocking catches his eye and the old charm offensive goes into turbo charge! Definite dinner party must….don’t tell tho’, s/he’s not invited!

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