Newsnight celebrity Jeremy Paxman is a national celebrity. An English national celebrity, of course – he has written a number of books celebrating England. He was born in Leeds in 1950. I was born in Aberdeen in 1949 but spent my time between 1961 and 1973 in Leeds, going to possibly the worst Jesuit school in the known universe, the now demolished St Michael’s College. Paxman’s Wackypedia entry doesn’t say which school he attended.
Nor does it say whether Paxman has a dog.
We mention the dog because we watch Paxman interrogate students on University Challenge. Sometimes, we watch him interrogating politicians on Newsnight, too.
If he has a dog, and he has had a bad day at the orifice, we imagine this conversation when he gets home.
Paxman to dog: “Stop barking at me, Fudo, you remind me of myself.”
Fudo (in high voice): “Have you had a good day, master?”
Paxman (in mock surprise): “You are a talking dog! So I have some questions to ask you Fudo, Wien College Austria and for you Fido Doggywoggy College Braemar!
“It is your starter for 10. What is the Bessemer Process?”
[Fudo, Wien, buzzes]
”It is to do with steel.”
[Paxman looks smug because he has the answers on a card. He slaps one down, with a contemptuous look at the poor stude.]
Paxman: “This is the music round.” [Paxman looks triumphant]
[Wien College Austria, Shoshtakovich] “Bach.”
Paxman: “Well done!” [patronisingly]
[Paxman’s Dog] “Come on, come on. Feed me, now! [barks loudly]
[NUJ representative enters stage left, says there’s a strike on and perhaps Jeremy might, with his reputed million quid a year salary, buy his dogs the equivalent of cats’ Dreamies]