Kirsty Wark: Newsnight has “moved on” from Jeremy Paxman

The Newsnight presenter says the BBC current affairs programme is "bigger than any of us"

Jeremy Paxman might have had one of the most high profile roles in broadcasting for 25 years but Newsnight is getting on fine without him, says his former co-presenter Kirsty Wark.


When asked how the BBC current affairs programme was coping without the formidable Paxman, Wark told an audience at the Cheltenham Literature Festival “I think that Jeremy is in the position where he has left a great imprint in the programme and now he’s decided to go and do something else. Actually the programme is bigger than any of us, that’s the truth of the matter.

“And Newsnight is a kind of brand that can survive change, it can survive chaos as it did with the Savile issue a long time ago, and although we miss Jeremy greatly I think the programme has moved on, to be honest. And I think he’d think that as well.”

On the subject of role changes, Wark discussed what it was like to write a novel and be reviewed by others, when she was so used to critiquing other people’s work on the BBC4 Review Show.

“People always say to me, ‘did you not think you’d write under someone else’s name?’  But I’ve dished it out on the review show, I should be able to take it.”

Wark’s debut novel The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle, is about family history and romance, and set on the Scottish island of Arran.


“I was kind of secure in the knowledge that I had a very, very good literary agent and that it was her neck on the line as well. So if it was utter sh*te than perhaps it wouldn’t be published.”