Jeremy Paxman has announced that he is stepping down from Newsnight after 25 years of fronting the show.
The BBC say Paxman’s decision has nothing to do with his recent issues with the channel and was actually made last summer. However at the time he apparently agreed to stay on until June 2014 to help new staff prepare for the change.
BBC director general Tony Hall confirmed the news this evening and released a statement saying:
“This is a particularly poignant moment for me, because I have known Jeremy and relished working with him since the day I joined the BBC in 1973.”
He continued: “His is a rare and dazzling talent. He has a unique ability to create moments of real discomfort for politicians and memorable delight for audiences.
Paxman will stay on at BBC and will continue to present University Challenge on BBC Two after he leaves Newsnight behind.
The star has recently been very outspoken about the BBC and where he feels they’re going wrong. Earlier this month he criticised Radio 1 Xtra and complained about the station’s music being played in elevators, saying that the tunes were making his daily work life “hell”. He was later reportedly told to ‘take the stairs’ by BBC bosses.
Check out some of Paxman’s best grillings over the years and let us know which are your favourites below….
1. Paxman really got his claws into Treasury minister Chloe Smith, when she showed up to defend George Osborne’s U-turn on plans to increase fuel duty.
2. Jeremy VS Boris Johnson. The London mayor tackled Paxman about his huge (reported to be £1 million) pay packet.
3: Former Conservative MP and home secretary Michael Howard is questioned about the breakout at Parkhurst prison. Jez asks the same question no less than 12 times, determined to get a straight answer…for once.
4: Scottish politician and SNP leader Alex Salmond is usually fiery and combative but Jeremey talks him into submission and into a spin in this interview.
5. Paxman vs Ann Coulter, a conservative political commentator, writer and lawyer.