I have always been an avid fan of University Challenge since the Bamber Gascoigne days. As a quizmaster, Gascoigne was always firm, but polite, so I have always remained ambivalent about his successor, Jeremy Paxman.  I am often overcome by his breathtaking arrogance and rudeness towards the young, but very bright, contestants but, if you can stand up to Paxman’s bully boy tactics on University Challenge you can go on to achieve great things in the life, including running a country.

“I haven’t a clue what you’re talking about – and I’m not sure that you do, either!”

Jeremy Paxman – University Challenge

As soon as I heard about last night’s debate on Channel 4, I made a note in my diary.  I didn’t want to miss witnessing what promised to be an hour of scintillating rapid-fire exchanges on the political future of our country. .  May v Corbyn Live and to be interviewed by Jeremy Paxman.

The rapid fire I had been excitedly waiting for started with Paxman trying to out speak Jeremy Corbyn, who took it all in his stride. Even if, on too many occasions, he was forced to raise his voice slightly out of frustration ‘Can you let me finish!’, which eventually penetrated Paxman’s constant rhetoric.  Paxman seemed to tone it down a little for Theresa May but managed, with accomplished ease, to descend to the murky depths of name calling.  Referring to Mrs May as a blowhard was bang out of order.  So, whilst I am on the subject of name calling Mr Paxman, boorish and windbag spring to mind.  Oh … and remember …

The Golden Rules Interviewing

  1. Allow your interviewee to answer the question you have just put to them.  Do not answer  it for them.
  2. Do not talk all over them.
  3. Do not ask hypothetical questions.  Stick to the facts.
  4. Do not call your interviewee names.
  5. Never be rude.

“Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.”
Edmund Burke

Channel 4 … why Jeremy Paxman? Why not Jon Snow? He would have done a much better job.