Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Paxman, Newsnight And Delicate Linguistic Nuances.

Welcome back to the ukcameraman Institute of TV News Studies. As you are probably aware, I watch the news a lot. More than is probably healthy for a man who works in the TV news industry. I have my favourite programmes that I like to watch, chief amongst which is BBC Newsnight with Jeremy Paxman.

Jeremy Paxman... Unable as yet, to swear at his guests...

Now, for the benefit of my foreign readers, Jeremy Paxman, or 'Paxo' to me and his good friends, is known as the journalistic Rottweiler of British TV news broadcasting, with a fearsome reputation amongst the higher echelons of political and corporate life. A withering look or a rapier like rebuttal from an argumentative Paxo is like a stake to the heart of many a governmental mouthpiece.

As good as Paxo is at his job however, I believe that Newsnight and the BBC should relax the rules on language during live broadcasts, but only in the case of Newsnight. We wouldn't want f-bombs during the next instalment of CBeebies now, would we? No, what I mean is, I would like the BBC to give free rein to Paxo to use at random, and at his own discretion, the word 'Bollocks' after the 9pm watershed, when anti-answer spin tactics are deployed by interviewees.

Imagine this scenario if you will. You have settled down to watch Newsnight in your dressing gown and slippers, perhaps with a warming mug of cocoa and a chocolate Hobnob to help you wind down...

Paxo: "Minister, would it be advisable to relax the rules on complex inter governmental department spending and procurement procedures during a time of austerity for the British public..?"

Minister: "What I think the public should be worried about is the quite ludicrous proposals of the opposition. With regards to shadow cabinet expenditure white papers..."

Paxo: (interrupting) "Bollocks..."

After wiping the cocoa and Hobnob spray from your tv screen, think about what just happened... It cuts right to the bone doesn't it? No need for complex argument and clever questioning to get to the heart of the matter and gets the minister to answer the question put to them. A simple 'Bollocks' is all that is required to get them all flustered. Imagine the difference it would have made to the now infamous interview with the then Home Secretary Micheal Howard...

Mr Paxman, if you are reading this, please put forward my proposal for inclusion of the word 'Bollocks' into the BBC allowable word phrase book. (Newsnight only) Should this tactic work, may I also put forward for inclusion the word 'Fucknut.' With kindest regards etc...

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter.