Thusday 21st April 2005

Let me share with you a milestone in my life. When did you catch the current affairs bug? you might be too young, or find news and politics does not touch your life. That is your opinion and you are entitled to it. Let me take you back, 8 years, to a bright Friday morning, my favourite day of the week, and a new beginning. Labour had just won a landslide victory in the General Election, and I was watching Sky News before school. While munching away on my Kelloggs Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, I was trying my best to come to grips with the significance of this new dawn. Not only was I could up in this sense of new optimism. Little did I know that this was to be a more significant event in my personal life, than just in a change in the political and social climate of our country.

Before that day in May, I so no real importance in the news. My Dad would religiously watch the 6 and also 9 o’ clock news on BBC One. I saw little relevance to the world outside. How could anything happening in a land far far away, affect me on this little, green, pleasant island. Yet, I do not want to give the impression, I was a complete recluse. I knew the main figures, our Prime Minister, some of the cabinet and most other distinguished members of the house. I just did not seen an importance for what can only be referred to ‘grown up’ stuff. That all changed in 1997, when I started to absorb the facts, the analysis and all the angles in the lively debate that followed any argument. Suddenly, I was hooked on BBC News, Sky News and later Newsnight and Question Time. If it was topical, I was watching, paying close attention and forming my own opinions. I had been hit by the news bug and there was no looking back.

Things became worse, with the advent of a dial-up connection at home, and the purchase of a WAP enabled mobile phone in December 2000. I was hooked on the mobile version of Ananova before Orange came along and bought the news service. Night after night was spending reading and digesting the news over my mobile phone, but the novelty of reading the latest news headlines in the palm of my hand, did eventually wear off. It was not until the advent of my broadband connection at home, that I finally was able to turn my hunger for the latest news into a reality. It was at this time, that blogs were beginning to find a footing on the world wide web, and everything, slowly fell into place.

That brings us swiftly onto my favourite news programmed, tucked away on BBC Two at 10.30pm. While, Jeremy does not present it as much as I would have liked, he does make the whole programme a joy to watch, regardless of the subject matter being discussed. Down to just two or three shows every week, Gavin Esler and Kirsty Wark are inferior, if only in interview style to Paxo. I know I have mentioned the show several times but I don’t think I have given the presenter, the showman, the billing he so rightly deserves. It was this week, he finally came into this own with the Paxman Interviews. With the final encounter with Mr. Howard to be screen tomorrow evening. Is there really a problem when one man, of a large news corporation team can on the PM and be left beaten. As a strong believe in accountability, I feel it is important for us to have someone out there, willing to speak the voice of the man on the street. Ask the questions that we want answered and not be frightened to push Members of Parliament into a corner, if need be. This is what makes watching Paxman in motion, so engaging. Perhaps that is why the BBC keep him under wraps for only a few nights a week on Newsnight. The next question is why did they not do use a caricature (better than these poor excuses for artwork) of Paxman for the BBC Election trails?

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