Viewers vote no to Jeremy Paxman’s stand-up routine

The former Newsnight anchor joined David Mitchell presenting Channel 4's alternative election coverage

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While David Dimbleby was guiding the good ship Beeb through exit polls and exiled Lib Dems, Jeremy Paxman was doing something very different on Channel 4: telling jokes.

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The former Newsnight presenter joined comedian David Mitchell fronting C4’s ‘Alternative Election’ coverage, which set itself up as more about stand-up than seats. 

Paxo’s one-liners and pieces to camera didn’t exactly win a landslide of support.

Maybe it was because everyone were still so used to his Newsnight routine.

As the night wore on, politicians popped up on the studio big screen: Boris Johnson offered himself up to wrestle with the attack dog-turned-comedian, albeit down the other end of a springy ear microphone.

It’s safe to say Paxman wasn’t impressed by Boris saying how “lucky” he was to have won. “You could have put a donkey in there with a blue rosette on!” Paxman said of “Bozza’s” constituency victory – just the sort of political back-and-forth we had been waiting for.

Was Paxo winning people over?

Although, maybe it’s best to keep things separate.

Regular C4 newsreader Cathy Newman meanwhile was trying to keep the actual election coverage afloat.

As the pre-prepared pieces to camera dried up and the interviews flowed in, Paxman was clearly on safer ground – although the sniggering in the studio every time a political leader appeared still reminded you this definitely wasn’t Newsnight.

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So, as viewers became more sleep-deprived, Paxman pepped up. The dodgy comedy monologues and Nicola Sturgeon fish jokes were forgotten, and if he converted a few more floating voters to the political game, so much the better.