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Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

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Tracey Emin, Jarvis Cocker, Neil Kinnock, A S Byatt and Dizzee Rascal contribute to Newsnight At 30 special

Newsnight At 30

A host of guests from the worlds of politics and culture including Tracey Emin, Jarvis Cocker, Neil Kinnock and A S Byatt are confirmed for a special programme to mark 30 years of Newsnight.

Newsnight At 30 (BBC Two, Saturday 23 January, 8.00pm), presented by Jeremy Paxman, debates what have been the big shifts in British politics and society over the last 30 years.

As well as a look behind the scenes at Newsnight, there will be contributions from Kirsty Wark, Peter Snow and Martha Kearney, and a reminder of some of the classic moments from the show's three decades.

There will also be a video message from British rapper Dizzee Rascal.

And The Specials – who were No.1 in the charts in the month the programme was first broadcast – will be playing live at the end of the programme.

Other guest include Martin Amis, Chris Patten and Rebecca Front.

Jeremy Paxman famously interviewed Dizzee Rascal in 2008 after Barack Obama won the US Presidential election, and asked him if he would like to run for office. The relationship continued when Dizzee Rascal played the Newsnight theme tune and excerpts from his Newsnight interview with Paxman at the start of his Glastonbury show in 2009.

In his video message, to be played on the Newsnight At 30 programme, he says: "Yeah this is Dizzee Rascal wishing Jeremy Paxman and all the Newsnight crew a very happy 30th birthday. Sorry I couldn't be there with you. But as you can see I'm in Australia right now as I'm touring. I wish I was there, but it's probably snowing over there so actually I wish I was here. Nice to see you're doing well. Many years of continued success to you and all your crew. Respect."

The Newsnight special films, each of which will be followed by discussion, are about:


How politics and political reporting have changed over the last 30 years – how have we got to the level of political disengagement we've reached now? What role has been played by the media and by politicians themselves? Has society become so atomised that mainstream politics is no longer so relevant to people's lives, or to the way in which they want to express themselves politically?

Britain's place in the world – from the Falklands to Afghanistan

How has the way Britain is viewed by the rest of the world changed? What is the changing nature of British power? How have the crises we've faced – particularly 9/11 and what's flowed from that – changed us?

Society and culture

From recessions and booms, to the internet revolution and the growth of celebrity culture – what kind of society have we become? Is it "broken" and how? What is there to celebrate? In an increasingly pressurised world, how have relationships between men and women and the roles and status of men and women changed? What has the fixation on image and the sexualisation of society done to us? Are women in a better place now?

Behind the scenes

The programme will end with a piece that looks behind the scenes at Newsnight and which reflects the way TV production techniques have changed over the last 30 years. With an ever-changing media landscape, are programmes like Newsnight relevant any more?

Notes to Editors

Please attribute to "Newsnight At 30" (BBC Two, Saturday 23 January, 8.00pm)


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