While Tory and Labour spinners wrangled over which leader triumphed in the election debate, there was consensus over who the real winner was – Jeremy Paxman. The former Newsnight presenter returned to political interviewing after a nine month break by wrong-footing Mr Cameron over the economy, immigration and poverty.
He then went on to label Mr Miliband a “north London geek” and express his scepticism about Labour’s spending plans. At the end of their encounter, the veteran interviewer was heard asking: “Are you OK Ed? Are you all right?”
The sports presenter, Jake Humphrey, was among hundreds who expressed their admiration for Paxman’s style. He tweeted: “Jeremy Paxman is very, very bloody good. Takes no prisoners. David Cameron dealt with him well, how’s Ed feeling right now.”
Columnist Owen Jones said: “Most would prefer being flayed alive to a Paxman interrogation. But to be honest, think Miliband is doing alright here.”
Jeremy Paxman's best one-liners
Jeremy Paxman's best one-liners
1/12 On his political allegiance:
"I have to be frank, I suppose I am a one-nation Tory, yes."
2/12 On horse comparisons:
"I've spent my whole life being told I have a face like a horse. You are just what you are, aren't you?"
3/12 On his dream woman:
"I would be very happy to go cycling with Sigourney Weaver."
4/12 On Tony Blair:
"He had a barrister's ability to master a brief. When you have that amazing command of detail and a messianic faith, it makes you slightly dangerous."
5/12 On sneering:
"I hate the word 'sneering', I can't help the way my face looks."
6/12 On fitting in:
"I've always felt myself to be an outsider. I've always felt awkward."
7/12 On beard phobia:
“Unless you’re lucky enough to be Uncle Albert on Only Fools and Horses, Demis Roussos or Abu Hamza, the BBC is generally as pogonophobic as the late-lamented Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha."
8/12 On newsreader Huw Edwards:
"Huw Edwards can come across like some evangelical preacher on a wet Sunday morning in Merthyr Tydfil, and indeed, most of the earnest prophets of news claim merely to be passing on a greater truth."
9/12 On Twitter:
"Twitter? This is an activity for people who have got nothing going on in between their ears, or nothing going on in their lives."
10/12 On English progressiveness:
"The English approach to ideas is not to kill them, but to let them die of neglect."
11/12 On conscientious objectors:
"To be honest extreme conscientious objectors have always struck me as cranks."
12/12 On the problems with Marks & Spencer underwear:
"I have noticed that something very troubling has happened. There's no other way to put this. Their [Marks and Spencer's] pants no longer provide adequate support."
By contrast Kay Burley, the Sky News presenter, faced a backlash over her handling of the section of the debate where the leaders faced questions from a studio audience.
Channel 4 presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy tweeted: “Am confused whether Kay Burley is supposed to ask supplementaries? She didn’t with Cameron but does with Miliband.”
Ofcom received more than 200 complaints that she had shown bias against Mr Miliband, repeatedly interrupting him and several times asking him about his relationship with his brother David.
Ms Burley took on her critics on twitter. In a tweet after the debate she said: “I see JP and I are being alternately accused of being pro and anti both Cameron and Miliband. Our work here is done.”Reuse content