Belfast Telegraph

Paxman admits love for Take Me Out

Broadcaster Jeremy Paxman has admitted that he no longer watches Newsnight - but he is a fan of dating show Take Me Out and he has made time for The Only Way Is Essex.

The presenter spent 25 years fronting the political programme and hosted his final show last summer.

But he told Radio Times magazine that instead of watching the BBC show - which is now presented by Evan Davis - he preferred to get an early night.

"I don't have any second thoughts about my decision (to leave)," he said.

"I don't see Newsnight, I'm afraid. My idea of fun is to go to bed at 10.30pm and read a book."

Paxman opened up about his own viewing habits when he was asked about reality TV star Joey Essex's ITV show, in which he interviews political leaders ahead of the General Election.

"Of course I know who Joey Essex is," Paxman said. "I have (watched The Only Way Is Essex). I didn't like it as much as I like Take Me Out, which I think is a fantastic show."

Asked whether he was serious about enjoying ITV's dating show - hosted by Paddy McGuinness, Paxman replied: "I do!" and added that he had also seen M ade in Chelsea.

" I don't like the people in it... it's probably a reflection on me, not them," he said of the show about socialites.

Meanwhile he refused to hit back after Andrew Marr called Paxman's technique "disdainful" and "contemptuous".

Marr called the rival broadcaster "a genuinely tortured, angry individual" after Paxman interviewed David Cameron and Ed Miliband in March.

"Yeah, I did read them," Paxman said. "You are not the first person to try to get me to be rude about him (Marr), and I'm not going to, I'm afraid."

He joked that it was for "others to judge" if he really was a tortured and angry individual.

Paxman said of the General Election: "I think it really matters... I've no sympathy whatsoever with people who say, 'I don't vote'."

Of comedian Russell Brand, who has encouraged people not to vote, he added: "I'm just astonished anyone would take that position seriously. It's the position of an idiot."

Paxman added: "On the whole, I'm in favour of the state getting out of people's lives, but I would not have a problem with voting being made compulsory. But if you did that, you'd have to have a box for 'none of the above'."

He branded the choice at this election as being "between one man who was at primary school with Boris Johnson and one man who was at secondary school with him - both of whom did PPE at Oxford."

He said that the House of Commons should be turned into "a museum" with a new Parliament built "in some garden city in the Midlands", and said of today's "self-selecting bunch" of MPs : "I really wish they just had a bigger interest in the world."

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