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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 November, 1999, 18:07 GMT
About Newsnight
Newsnight first aired on 30 January 1980.

In 2000 the BBC broadcast a special programme celebrating 20 years of BBC Two's flagship current affairs programme.

Newsnight at 20, presented by Jeremy Paxman, was an irreverent look back at the programme's history - digging into the great moments over the years from key political interviews, foreign reports and bizarre studio sets, and shows why Newsnight has become the programme the powerful love to hate.

Michael Howard
Political highlights included that award-winning Paxman interview with Michael Howard which was reprised in Newsnight at 20 with Howard trying to turn the tables on Paxman; Kirsty Wark's grilling of Judge MacPherson on the Lawrence Inquiry; and Vincent Hanna's by-election coverage.

Mark Urban
Foreign highlights included: Charles Wheeler's reports on the Kurdish Refugee crisis; the programme's Falklands war coverage which led to questions in the Commons about "excessive neutrality"; and Mark Urban's reports from Kosovo - including one conducted lying down while shots are fired overhead.

Other great moments included:

Peter Snow and Dolly
Peter Snow's paper review of the Sunday Sport - "Page three - not bad; Centre spread - even Better"

Dolly the cow participating in the studio discussion of the BSE crisis

Correspondent Olenka Frienkel running into the studio holding aloft a chunk of the Berlin Wall during live coverage of the fall

The Gulf War Sandpit - later displayed in the Imperial War Museum, where according to one curator, visitors would stand and do Peter Snow impersonations.

Charles Wheeler and Jeremy Paxman
Jeremy Paxman's own worst moment - an inaudible outside broadcast on the night of German reunification which ends with Charles Wheeler turning to him and saying "Jeremy - this is pure Monty Python" and which was described as the worst outside broadcast, ever, in the history of the BBC.

Title sequences from the last 20 years of Newsnight


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