At the time Jeremy Paxman presented an air of studied insouciance, batting off the approaches of a television camera which had "doorstepped" him about Jimmy Savile.
But inside he was seething and so furious with his paymasters that he considered resigning from Newsnight – if the programme was even going to survive that is.
The presenter has revealed that he "seriously considered" quitting the programme after the Jimmy Savile and Lord McAlpine scandals damaged the programme’s reputation.
He told 5 Live's Richard Bacon that he had also heard that the BBC Trust was considering axing the programme.
He said about quitting: "I thought about it, of course, but in the end I decided that there were several bad decisions, they were individual bad decisions and I felt that loyalty commanded that I stayed. I did seriously consider it."
Asked if he discussed it with anyone at the BBC he said that he had but when asked who they were he told Bacon to "mind your own business".
The crisis began when Newsnight dropped an investigation into Jimmy Savile’s abuse, only to see the story picked up by ITV.
The programmes was then heavily censured and forced to issue a groveling apology plus £185,000 in damages to Tory Peer Lord McAlpine after falsely accusing him of child abuse.
In his interview with Bacon Paxman added that some figures within the BBC’s governing body the Trust had floated the idea of scrapping the programme.
"It is my belief – I've never checked this out – that there were a couple of people on the BBC Trust who thought, overreacted, who felt that it should be shut down," he said.
However he added that it was "never a serious possibility".
A BBC statement said: “We have nothing further to add."