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Last Updated: Monday, 25 April, 2005, 09:06 GMT 10:06 UK
New anger at leader interviews
Michael Howard and Jeremy Paxman
Paxman's interview with Michael Howard was the last in the series

Jeremy Paxman's interview with Michael Howard - the last of his election special series with the three main party leaders - has again triggered a large response.

More than 100 people called the BBC and dozens more e-mailed to complain that Paxman was "rude and aggressive" in his interviewing technique.

Paxman Interviews Michael Howard was broadcast on BBC One at 1930 BST on Friday, following earlier head-to-heads with Charles Kennedy and Tony Blair.

The BBC's head of television news, Roger Mosey, defended Paxman's style last week, after more than 100 people complained about his interview with Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy. You can read that article here: Why we love the 'Paxman problem'

Below we publish a brief selection of your views on the Howard interview, Mosey's article and Paxman's interviewing technique in general.


Jeremy Paxman's performance last evening when he interviewed Michael Howard was a disgrace to himself, the BBC and the viewing public who he represents. He broke just about every rule in the interviewer's book and instead of asking well-considered, open and closed probing questions he was bad mannered, petulant, insulting, inaccurate, poorly prepared and utterly boorish.
R J Carter, England

I used to live the UK and miss very much the analytical intelligence and persistence of broadcasters like Mr Paxman. Keep up the good work!
Anna Hall, United States

I've just watched Paxman interview Michael Howard. I don't like Howard that much and, although I wouldn't say I felt sorry for him, I am seriously tiring of Paxman's interview style. For me, it's a bit 90s. He looked mortally wounded every time Howard tried to play him at his own game by interrupting, didn't really give any chance to answer (we all know, and he should, that politicians cannot give a yes or no answer) and, while I accept that it's important to press these people on certain points, he genuinely seemed to have it in for Howard. It's time to think again about this arrogant style of interviewing. I used to be entertained by it, now I'm bored of it.
Charlie Brett, UK

Paxman's technique....Brilliant.
H Buckner, England

Congratulations to Michael Howard on the Paxman Interview. He dealt with Paxman fairly and squarely. Frankly these confrontation political programmes are a mess. I don't care whether these politicians have to be tackled in a way that they can't get away with anything. A return to a civilized probing interview please. Paxman lost this one because he was up against someone far more skilled at this sort of interview than he is.
G.R.Thomas, UK

Paxman interviewed the three main party leaders. The leaders of Labour and the Lib Dems were given a really rough ride whereas Howard's interview was, by comparison, a cakewalk. I think that I know who Paxman will be voting for but I do not think that his performance (or lack of it) gives any credit to the Beeb.
Dennis Boyd, England

Will Jeremy Paxman be man enough to admit that he got his comeuppance versus Mr Howard this evening?
Colin Atkins, England

I do not demand deference but a decent interviewer should be on the side of getting and clarifying information, not just being rude and boosting whatever warped ego he has
Stuart Hercock, UK

I was watching the Paxman Interviews with Michael Howard with the intention of obtaining information on his policies. Unfortunately Mr Paxman seems determined to enhance his reputation of being a hard man and as a result he interjected at the most inappropriate times with inane comment or unrelated questions.
Bruce Womack, UK

Whatever your polls say about Jeremy Paxman I think he is rude in the extreme. I have just switched off his interview with Michael Howard as his method of asking questions rally annoys me.
Peter Dyer, UK

I'm a student at Lancaster University and a regular viewer of Jeremy Paxman's interviews. I just thought I would take time out to say that he is awesome to watch, especially with the Blair interview.
Dean Graham, England

I must join the growing chorus of complaints about the aggressive, and arrogant attitude of Jeremy Paxman. The man has ceased to have an interest in seeking the information, and sadly merely wishes to exercise his ego. He should go and take John Humphrys with him.
Bill Yoe, UK

All this nonsense about Jeremy Paxman that he was too hard on Charles Kennedy, nonsense! That's what he's there for!! Bring on the rottweiler!!!
Alan Kingsbury, England

What is it with Mr Paxman, that he has to be so rude and arrogant when interviewing? His treatment of Charles Kennedy did not reflect what I believed the BBC stood for. I thought that the BBC stood for quality in broadcasting - this does not rate even as high as tabloid and at present is finding it hard to raise its head out of the gutter. Can't you use someone like Andrew Marr for these interviews - he is not only intelligent and courteous but also speaks a language that most politically inept people like myself can understand.
Angus Macadam, Inverness, Scotland

People who criticise Paxman don't realise that politicians are career obsessed. We should welcome his persistence and encourage his style of journalism. carry on the good work Jeremy.
Martin Edwards, England

The comments about "Paxo" are spot on, we NEED someone who isn't afraid to ask the hard questions, who will pursue a point clearing away the obfuscation that politicians so often throw up with double speak. Deferential interviewing is a cop out and has no place in the field of genuine political debate. Keep it up guys, and handcuff Paxman to that studio - don't ever let him get away from the BBC!
Cris Page, UK

Mr Mosley's defence of Paxman is way over the top. Methinks he (Mosey) doth protest too much! Paxman should be rested for a while. I do not demand deference but a decent interviewer should be on the side of getting and clarifying information, not just being rude and boosting whatever warped ego he has.
Stuart Hercock, UK

We can only dream of having such stellar journalism here in the US (where television journalism is so compliant to government pressure as to practically be a branch of government.) I used to live the UK and miss very much the analytical intelligence and persistence of broadcasters like Mr Paxman. Keep up the good work!
Anna Hall, USA




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