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The James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture

  • Jeremy Paxman
  • 24 Aug 07, 07:30 PM

Never mind the scandals: what’s it all for?

paxo203.jpgOh dear. What a terrible trade we work in. Blue Peter is bent. Five is a faker. Richard and Judy’s competitions give a glorious new meaning to their slogan ‘You say, we pay.’ (They did, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of pounds.) Big Brother gets castigated for being an exploitative freak show. (Sorry, what’s the story there, then?) The ITV press office misrepresents a documentary. Channel Four’s Born Survivor Bear Grylls turns out to need Room Service. Even Children in Need, and Comic Relief, turn out to be guilty of something worse than insufferable smugness. The Prime Minister is mad at us. Even the Queen is cross. And that great Alpha Male, Gordon Ramsay can’t even catch his own fucking fish.

Continue reading "The James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture"

Friday, 24 August, 2007

  • Newsnight
  • 24 Aug 07, 04:30 PM

pool203.jpgThe main event in television today is happening in Edinburgh, where the annual TV festival gets underway.
The big topic up for discussion there is standards and what's become of them.

Back in London we'll be doing our bit to reverse this supposed decline.

Our main topic is, once again, the fatal shooting of 11 year old Rhys Jones. Merseyside police have issued a direct appeal for the killer, thought to be a child himself, to give himself up. They also need more information from eyewitnesses.

It is a particular feature of this type of crime that police encounter a wall of silence from the communities that hold the answers. That was the case when 15 year old Billy Cox became the 3rd school child to be shot dead in South London early this year. Today we return to the estate in North Clapham where he died to see what if anything has changed.

Then to Afghanistan where British soldiers are facing daily dangers. It makes news that three more have died, all presumed victims of so-called friendly fire, all the more tragic. It's reported the three, all from the 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment, were killed by an American bomb. Two of their colleagues were injured. We’ll hear the latest.

It makes another battle that's going on, up in Edinburgh, sound quite trivial by comparison, but Jeremy Paxman's lecture to the annual television festival tonight is bound to generate big headlines. Following weeks of debate about trust and standards, he's calling for the rescue of what he says is the "very soul of the medium."

We'll also report from another festival, this one, surprisingly, in North Iraq. It's the first arts festival in that country in recent years and we'll be showing you the highlights.

David Cameron - a Newsnight Special

  • Newsnight
  • 24 Aug 07, 01:06 PM

davidc.jpgDavid Cameron has had a rough few months since Gordon Brown took over as Prime Minister. First there was the Grammar school row: then "David Cameron's Conservatives" failed to make much progress in the Ealing Southall by-election; a stumble on his attack over the Government's running of the NHS; a trip to Rwanda while his constituency was flooded. BUT perhaps most worrying for David Cameron is that, for the first time since becoming leader of his party, he's behind in the polls.

On Wednesday, in a Newsnight special, David Cameron will be quizzed by our Editors about his leadership and what he proposes for Britain. We want to know what you would like us to ask. Let us know here and we'll hope to include some of your questions in the programme.

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