Newsnight is "made by 13-year-olds" who "want to change the world", according to its former presenter Jeremy Paxman.
Paxman, who presented BBC2's flagship late-night current affairs show for 25 years before leaving last week, made the remarks while answering questions from the audience at the Chalke Valley History Festival.
"Look, Newsnight is made by 13-year-olds," he said. "It's perfectly normal when you're young that you want to change the world.
"The older you get, the more you realise what a fools' errand much of that is and that the thing to do is to manage the best you can to the advantage of as many people as possible."
Paxman, who was promoting his book Britain's Great War, was asked about the final edition of Newsnight, in which Conservative London mayor Boris Johnson described the presenter as the last "one-nation Tory" at the BBC.
"I have to be frank, I suppose I am a one-nation Tory, yes," Paxman said.