Jeremy Paxman has been interviewing politicians for over 25 years. He has interviewed the biggest names on the political stage, including our current Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He earned the reputation as one of the most fearless and feared interviewers in the country. We're delighted to invite him to speak to the Burnet News Club about a life holding politicians to account.
Did your job make it easier or harder to decide who to vote for?
warm_cricket, Brompton Westbrook Primary School
Good question, warm_cricket! It gives me no room to waffle. I think it made things a bit harder, because if you understand why people think something, you forgive them for it. One of the most depressing things on earth is to be in a place where people can’t vote to change the government . So you must vote.
How long did it take you to prepare your questions for your Newsnight interviews?
generous_nation, Ormiston Bushfield Academy
It depended upon how long I had. Big interviews with prime ministers or presidents might take hours, trying to guess what they might say if the question was put a particular way. Other times I was just dropped into it. I think that if you take the money for the job, you should be prepared to talk to anyone at any time, about anything.
What made you want to be asking questions for the politicians and what inspired you?
brilliant_fossil, Upton Cross Primary School
I have been journalist all my working life. I suppose I was a square peg in square hole: curiosity is what gets me out of bed in the morning, and I love words. I admire people who are able to devote their whole life to one field of work, but I have a butterfly mind.
Have you ever feared that you are too scary?
enthusiastic_crab, Bruntcliffe Academy
No. Do you fear you’re too scary? We’re all just human beings…..
What has been your hardest ever interview?
encouraging_rock, Tendring Primary School & enterprising_beetle, Beckers Green Primary School
It’s always the one you’re about to do, no matter who it’s with. Am I going to understand this? Will I get the wrong end of the stick?
Have you ever interviewed a politician who felt immense pressure by your line of questioning because he/she was unable to give you a straight answer and, as a result, walked out of the studio?
creative_sparrow, The Ruth Gorse Academy
Not that I can recall, creative sparrow. When you get down to it, everything is pretty simple and if you can’t explain yourself, don’t do an interview.
Big interviews with prime ministers or presidents might take hours, trying to guess what they might say if the question was put a particular wayJeremy Paxman
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