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Last Updated: Monday, 18 April, 2005, 09:59 GMT 10:59 UK
Paxman grills party leaders
By Stuart Denman
Newsnight website

With polling day on 5 May fast approaching, Newsnight's Jeremy Paxman will be speaking to the three main party leaders in a series of one-to-one interviews.

Click here to watch the interviews online

Jeremy Paxman
Each of the interviews are recorded on the day of broadcast
The proposals have been in for months, the negotiations going on for weeks, and finally this week Jeremy Paxman will sit down with each of the party leaders for what we hope will be three of the landmarks of the campaign.

The Paxman Interviews do exactly what the title says.

There are no audiences, no phone-ins, no sofa, no young Ant and Dec. Just Jeremy Paxman doing what he does best with each of the party leaders in turn, in three Newsnight specials.

The half-hour interviews will run at 1930 BST on BBC One, with another chance to see the best bits on Newsnight in its normal slot on BBC Two at 2230 BST.

Searching questions

First up on Monday, 18 April is the Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy.

With a new baby less than a week old and a manifesto launch he would rather forget, Mr Kennedy needs a sure-footed outing to get his campaign back on track.

The Prime Minister Tony Blair follows on Wednesday, 20 April.

In the corresponding fixture ahead of the last general election the prime minister famously told Paxman that voters should not assume that National Insurance contributions would go up if Labour won.

They did, and we expect Paxman will want to know why.

Last, but possibly most anticipated of all, will be the interview with the Conservative leader Michael Howard on Friday, 22 April.

Jeremy Paxman's 1997 encounter with Mr Howard, then a candidate in the Tory leadership contest, was easily voted the viewers' favourite moment in 25 years of Newsnight earlier this year.

We do not need to explain why. What will happen this time?

The Paxman Interviews will be broadcast on Monday 18, Wednesday 20 and Friday 22 April 2005 at 1930 BST on BBC One.

You can also watch the interviews live and on demand from the BBC News Website.

The Paxman Interviews
07 Apr 05 |  Newsnight Election 2005
BBC and the 'Paxman problem'
20 Apr 05 |  Notes



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