Although Russell Brand might disagree with Press Gazette's idea of democracy, we thought the best way to name Jeremy Paxman's best moments on Newsnight would be to use the most viewed clips on YouTube.
Proving that Paxman maintained his popularity with viewers throughout his 25 years, his interview last year with comedian Brand tops the list.
- October 14, 2020
- September 29, 2020
- September 25, 2020
Here are the top seven Paxman moments on Newsnight, according to a YouTube search of "Jeremy Paxman":
After crossing swords in this interview last year, Russell Brand tweeted this message on hearing of Paxman's departure from Newsnight:
Paxman come back! This is not the revolution we intended. #Newsnight
— Russell Brand (@rustyrockets) April 30, 2014
Paxman's interrogation of Treasury Minister Chloe Smith (skip to 6.18) ended with him asking her: "Do you ever think you are incompetent?"
Coca Cola president James Quincey's Newsnight interview probably couldn't have started with a tougher opening quesiton: "What good does Coca Cola do you physically?"
English Defence League Stephen Lennon, AKA Tommy Robinson, was given a predictably hard time by Paxman.
As was right-wing US author Ann Coulter, who sarcastically thanked Paxman for his "warm introduction".
Saving the best until last? Away from YouTube, there appears to be a general consensus that Paxman's questioning of Michael Howard in 1997 was his best Newsnight moment. Despite being asked 12 times, the Tory refused to answer the question: "Did you threaten to overrule him [prisons chief Derek Lewis]?"