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Paxman: I felt hatred for estranged father

Published 24/09/2016

Jeremy Paxman said he was astonished when his estranged father showed no interest in reconciling
Jeremy Paxman said he was astonished when his estranged father showed no interest in reconciling

Former Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman has admitted in his memoir to feeling "passionate hatred" towards his late father at times.

The broadcaster revealed in his new book, A Life In Questions, that typewriter salesman Keith Paxman left the family to move to Australia when his eldest son was a 24-year-old BBC trainee.

After tracking his estranged father down a decade later, Paxman said he was "astonished" when the older man showed no interest in reconciling with him.

In extracts from the book, published in The Times Magazine, Paxman said: "Did I love my father? My feelings ranged from resentment to passionate hatred."

In an interview with the newspaper he added: "I was astonished by his lack of curiosity. I mean there were grandchildren he'd never seen, spouses he's never met.

"It seemed as if we were part of a life he'd put behind him."

As a presenter, Paxman spent 25 years fronting the BBC's flagship political programme, earning a reputation as a hard-bitten interviewer before he hosted his final show in summer 2014.

And the 66-year-old said he did not want to be portrayed as "poor little me" following the revelations in his memoir.

He said: "There comes a point, about the age of 40, when you have to stop saying how you are is a consequence of how you were brought up. And particularly when you are 66, it is pathetic to say 'I am as I am because of thins that happened in my childhood'."

The Leeds-born broadcaster, who studied at Cambridge University, has already authored a string of books including studies of Victorian Britain, politics and fishing, and continues to host quiz show University Challenge.

In 2014, he reportedly signed a three-book deal with publisher William Collins for almost £1 million.

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