Jeremy Paxman gets grilled by Channel 4's Michael Crick as he prepares for yesterday's leadership debate - video

The broadcaster was asked whether he was a 'one-nation Tory' by Crick as he entered the Sky studios

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Yesterday, Ed Miliband and David Cameron prepared for their first in a series of live television leadership debates in the lead up to May’s general election.

Sat in front of the “godfather of political grillings” Jeremy Paxman, they were quizzed on issues such as the economy, immigration and the NHS.

But it was not only the leaders of the UK’s two biggest parties that were put under the spotlight on Thursday. Paxman himself was on the receiving end of a couple of difficult questions as he entered the Sky studios yesterday afternoon. Confronted by Channel 4's Michael Crick, his neutrality was called into question when Crick told him “that Labour was very unhappy about him being a Tory”.

Referring to reports in February that suggested Paxman had been approached by the Conservatives to represent them as an MP for Kensigton and Chelsea, Crick said: “You were thinking about being the candidate for Kensington and Chelsea a few weeks ago.

“A senior Conservative source said you seriously thought about it.”

In response, Paxman said: “Of course they would say that wouldn’t they.

“I was asked if I wanted to be, Labour said I would like to be the candidate in Doncaster.”

Crick then quizzed Paxman on whether, as he stated in an interview at the Chalke Valley History Festival last June, he was a “one-nation Tory."

Paxman responded by saying: “No I didn’t say that, I responded to Boris Johnson’s ludicrous accusation that I was the last one-nation Tory.”

Never one to be outdone though, Paxman attempted to fight fire with fire, telling Crick that he thought he had been “sacked” and that his “research hadn’t got any better since you traded down from Newsnight to Channel Four”.