Channel 4 has finally landed the services of former Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman.
The feared TV inquisitor will anchor the broadcaster’s 2015 election coverage, C4 has confirmed.
The channel has been open about its desire to work with Paxman and chief creative officer Jay Hunt admitted at the Edinburgh TV festival last month that she was in talks with him about joining.
Paxman has always been a renegade and outspoken figure at the BBC and he may be expected to adopt an even more irreverent approach to the political world at C4.
In 2010, the channel’s election night coverage was called The Alternative Election Night – an approach which proved popular enough to attract a 10.4% audience share and outperform ITV’s coverage. The programme was also popular with younger audiences, with nearly half those who tuned in aged 16 to 34.
Hunt said of the signing: “Jeremy is a compelling presenter and makes truly unmissable TV for those big political moments. His sense of mischief and danger make him a fantastic fit with 4.”
Paxman added: “There are new and interesting questions to ask about the way we choose our governments. This should be fun.”
The news will also come as a blow to the BBC which had been understood to be keen to retain Paxman’s talents in some form. However the Corporation is unlikely to miss the controversies caused by his barbs – often at their expense….