Further Space Oddity: Jeremy Paxman grills British astronaut Major Tim Peake in weirdly aggressive Newsnight interview
'But what’s the point?' Paxman asks Peake. 'You’re just drifting around, aren’t you?'
If there were any doubt that a former Apache helicopter pilot and Britain’s first official astronaut could be cool under pressure, he proved it last night in the face of weirdly aggressive questioning by Jeremy Paxman.
Major Tim Peake might have expected a grilling when his Newsnight adversary introduced him as a man “expected to do more for the image of retired majors than anyone except that drunken old fool who lived in Fawlty Towers.”
Paxman then proceeded to question Peake, who has been selected to man the International Space Station in 2015, as if he were the Minister for Space. “What are we going to get for the £16 million spent putting you up there?” he asked.
Opportunities for industry, science and the inspiration of a new generation of scientists, Peake replied. Good answer, right?
“But what’s the point,” said an increasingly tin-eared Paxman, who went on to suggest being a spaceman might be boring. A spaceman, boring! “You’re just drifting around, aren’t you,” he added.
Paxman learned about the great medical gains of micro-gravity research so turned his inner attack dog (sister of John Humphrys’) on Peake’s eligibility. What made him better than the 7,999 would-be astronauts he beat in the Nasa selection process, he barked.
“You have to have the right character and get on with people,” said an admirably restrained Peake. Or, as he might have replied, “the ability to deal with testing problems in confined spaces.”
Listen to his collaboration with Naughty Boymusic
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Replica Back to the Future Hoverboard released
- 2 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 3 Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival streaming service criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
- 4 Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
- 5 A new (old) cure for MRSA? Revolting recipe from the Dark Ages may be key to defeat infection
Zayn Malik releases first solo song 'I Won't Mind' in 'Zaughty' collaboration with Naughty Boy
Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
Poldark review: Demelza’s insouciance is almost as impressive as Ross’ pecs
Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival streaming service criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
James May hints he will not continue on Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans