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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 January, 2005, 20:16 GMT
Now for something completely different...
Not everything goes according to plan in live broadcasting, and Newsnight has had its fair share of bloomers.

Here's a selection of Newsnight's funnier moments, mistakes, broadcasting disasters and, sometimes, the plain bizarre.

Scroll down to view the clips and we'll be adding more of Newsnight's weirdest ...

World Cluedo champion
26 May 1995

After losing the cricket yet again, Newsnight sets out to find out which sports England still regularly tops. Well, it turned out to be Cluedo...

Watch Jeremy relish questioning the World Cluedo champion about how to be on top of exactly who was it in which room and with which murder weapon?

Peter Snow and the cow
Dolly the cow appears on Newsnight
Live TV, live cow...
16 May 1990

Peter Snow was one of the first to cover the BSE or "Mad Cow disease" story. Clearly, you couldn't have told that story on television without getting a real, live cow in the studio. Could you?

And the person responsible for booking the cow? None other than current Newsnight editor, Peter Barron.

The Sport
Peter Snow included the Sport in the programme's newspaper round-up
Watch Peter Snow review the Sport...

Still today Newsnight usually rounds off the programme with a preview of the next days newspaper headlines.

It has to be said, the stories found on that particular Sport's front page and page three weren't covered by the programme...

The Romanian general struggling to find the ringing phone
Answering the phone during a live interview...
The Romanian general and his telephones
11 January 1990

Telephones were a headache for live broadcasters even before they become ubiquitously mobile.

Interviewing a Romanian general surrounded by an array of telephones proved to be a challenge in this interview.

Joelle Kauffman
Joelle Kauffman speaks French, not English...
Parlez-vous anglais? Non!

4 May 1988>

When booking studio guests for a live interview, it's always advisable to check that they do speak the language they will be interviewed in.

Despite Madame Kauffman's best efforts and the help of a friend, the interview had to be abandoned.

High drama - the life of the average UK tortoise
Tortoise turmoil
19 June 1992

An almost unbelievably exhaustive investigation into the lives, loves and trials of Britain's tortoises.

This film uncovers everything from stressed pets to tortoise rustling.

Must be seen to be believed.

Jeremy Paxman struggling through a coughing fit
Jeremy Paxman, hacking away...
Hacked off...
14 October 1996

Jeremy Paxman has guests ready to debate healthcare provision in the UK and has just started to voice the introduction to the programme live.

All's well until Jeremy succumbs to a coughing fit. And it doesn't help when the guests start laughing...

Oliver Letwin in the toga
Friends, Romans, countrymen, don't lend your votes...
Togas, Tories and tactical voting
29 May 2001

When Jeremy Vine set off round the country in 2001 to cover that year's general election from all corners of the country, he probably didn't think he'd be interviewing Oliver Letwin in a toga.

Or that Billy Bragg would turn up dressed as a Roman soldier to promote tactical voting.

Mr Letwin claimed he wasn't concerned by tactical voting, he certainly wasn't too pleased about being filmed in the toga...

Actor Liz Dawn
Liz Dawn plays Vera Duckworth in the TV soap Coronation Street
MPs and celebrity endorsements
28 September 2004

Michael Crick was in Hartlepool seeing the sights and sounds of a town in the grip of by-election fever, after Peter Mandelson left for a new life as an EU commissioner.

Among other celebrities Kevin Whately, Inspector Morse's TV side-kick, had been brought in to campaign for Labour, but Michael went one better.

He talked to, among others, Coronation Street star Liz Dawn who plays Vera Duckworth in the TV soap. But when quizzed by The Crickster, she couldn't remember who the last MP for Hartlepool was...

Mark E Smith
Mark E Smith during the interview with Gavin Esler
Are you the new DJ?
26 October 2004

As current editor Peter Barron explains on his highlight section of this special anniversary website, when the news broke that John Peel had died, Newsnight had to interview his favourite band's frontman: Mark E Smith of The Fall.

Gavin Esler talked to Mark E Smith about John Peel, his work and his legacy.

Newsnight is broadcast every weekday at 10:30pm on BBC Two in the UK.


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