Jeremy Paxman given Newsnight leaving present by Lord Saatchi ‘on behalf of all your victims’

The broadcaster receives a gift to commemorate his final Newsnight show

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The Independent Online

What to give one of Britain’s most aggressive, intellectually intimidating and persistent presenters as a leaving present?

On Jeremy Paxman’s last ever Newsnight show to be aired tonight 17 June, Lord Saatchi, one of the fearless journalist’s final interviewees, presented him with a first edition of The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich von Hayek – in which the author argues that the abandonment of liberalism and individualism leads to freedom, the creation of an oppressive society and the tyranny of a dictator.

See Paxman's best Newsnight interviews

Saatchi added the gift was given “on behalf of all your victims”, describing the book as “a very important book in the history of British politics”.

“Would you accept this on behalf of all your victims?” he asked Paxman, swerving a question about money.

“We as your victims wish you well in whatever you do next.”

Paxman – who has been grilling MPs on the programme for the past 25 years – thanked Saatchi and then, remaining true to self, said, “now answer the question”.


One of Paxman’s most recent interviews was with former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, in which he caustically asked, “Is it true you called Angela Merkel an ‘unf*ckable lard-arse?’”

Bemused by Paxo’s bluntness, the politician replied: “No, I have never had problems with Angela Merkel... This accusation was made up by someone who wanted to turn Angela against me."