Top BBC broadcaster Jeremy Paxman launches a tirade against BBC reporting.

5 March 2021 By Paul Martin

Veteran BBC broadcaster Jeremy Paxman has attacked war reporters on television who put their own ego ahead of the story.

In an online discussion Paxman said that in war reporting, egoism “switches the focus from whatever’s happening wherever you are to me, me, me”.  

He added: “That’s the besetting problem with television. It’s full of vainglorious fools who want to be on telly [television] instead of just letting the story tell itself.”  

He also critiCised the whole BBC organisation.

The presenter has criticised the corporation
The presenter has criticised the corporation

Newsnight’s former lead interviewer said the world is a better place for having the BBC, but added that it is “an immensely frustrating organisation”.

He said the corporation, which employs 22 thousand staff, is “full of boring people doing dull jobs and pretending they’re important”. That, he said, obstructs “its true mission”: to make interesting programmes. 

Jeremy Paxman had a spell presenting the Six O'clock News before joining Newsnight
Jeremy Paxman was a hard-hitting presenter on BBC Newsnight

Paxman, who was speaking via online video platform Twitch, is no longer a staff member, but is paid through his own private company for BBC work.

He also further criticised the BBC for its handling of events around the British royal family, saying it was more fawning than other broadcasters.  

The presenter said this particularly embarrassing in the BBC’s past coverage of royal deaths. “The organisation was caught in this trap between recognising a news story and acting as mourner-in-chief.  It got into a real muddle about it,” Paxman said. 

In the past, the presenter has voiced critical opinions about his employer. he was rebuked by the BBC in 2014, prior to his departure from Newsnight for claiming corporation colleagues were “smug”.