Jeremy Paxman to be honoured by TV and audio writers at Broadcasting Press Guild Awards lunch this Friday

Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting Award announcement for Broadcasting Press Guild Awards lunch

Jeremy Paxman to be honoured by TV and audio writers at Broadcasting Press Guild Awards lunch this Friday


Broadcaster, presenter and journalist Jeremy Paxman is to be honoured this week at the 49th annual Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, chosen by journalists who write about television, streaming and audio.

Paxman will receive the BPG’s prestigious Harvey Lee Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting at the awards lunch at Royal Horseguards Hotel in Whitehall, London on Friday March 24th. The award is sponsored by Warner Bros. Discovery.

The award celebrates Paxman’s 50 years of broadcasting that includes his work on Newsnight, Panorama,Breakfast Time and University Challenge and began with his first job as a graduate trainee at BBC Radio Brighton back in 1972.

From there, Paxman’s remarkable broadcasting career took him to Belfast, where he reported on the conflict in Northern Ireland before moving to London in 1977. Starting on the Tonight programme, he next landed a job on Panorama in 1979 and spent five years reporting from around the world. His next career move was to the Six O’Clock News where he was a newsreader for two years before joining BBC One’s Breakfast Time.

But it was his time as presenter of Newsnight – a job which began in 1989 – that left the biggest mark on British broadcasting. Paxman’s iconic interview with then Home Secretary Michael Howard, in which he asked the same question of the minister 12 times, is one of the most memorable political interviews of all time. But there were many more outstanding moments during 15 years in the job, including much-watched face-offs with politicians including British Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Theresa May; US President George Bush; Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi; and UK party leaders Ed Miliband and Charles Kennedy. His outstanding broadcasting work on General Elections spanned decades. He also asked the tough questions of people in the arts, including David Bowie, Dizzie Rascal and Russell Brand.

For 29 years from 1994, Paxman also presented University Challenge – asking more tough questions. And he returned to radio for four years from 1998, when he presented Start The Week on BBC Radio 4.

Aside from his job as a journalist and presenter, Paxman even appeared as himself in the political comedy The Thick Of It, while his work in the field of documentaries included The Victorians in 2012 and Empire two years later (both series were complemented with books by Paxman). He also presented Britain’s Great War on the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I.

The BPG’s chairman Grant Tucker, said: “As an organisation of journalists, the BPG holds Jeremy Paxman in very high esteem for his broadcasting record which has meant remarkable longevity, a unique authenticity, and a fierce desire to hold some people’s feet to the fire. We loudly applaud Jeremy’s famous interview interrogations of the powerful and his dedication to the journalistic craft, which provides the very best for his viewers, listeners and readers.”

The BPG Television, Streaming and Audio Awards are highly prized by programme-makers because they are selected independently by journalists who write about TV, radio, streaming and podcasts – correspondents, critics and previewers. The awards lunch will be attended by award winners, BPG members, and leading broadcasting executives.

For more information about the Broadcasting Press Guild, including a full list of winners over the past 48 years, and see pictures and videos from previous BPG awards ceremonies at:

Notes to editors:

  1. The remaining award winners will be announced at the 49th BPG Awards lunch at Royal Horseguards Hotel in Whitehall, London, on Friday March 24th 2023 and simultaneously on Twitter @BPGPress #BPGAwards. Winners have been informed in advance and places at the lunch are by invitation only. A full news release about the winners, embargoed till 2pm on Friday, will be available on our website:
  2. The BPG Twitter handle for the Awards is #BPGAwards @BPGPressGuild.
  3. The Broadcasting Press Guild was founded in 1974 and has more than 130 members. They are journalists who specialise in covering television, radio and the media, and include critics, previewers, media correspondents and feature writers from national newspapers, broadcasters and leading
    trade journals and websites.
  4. Harvey Lee (1950-1991) – after whom the award is named – was the media correspondent for the Daily Telegraph and a leading light in the BPG throughout the 1980s. Previous winners of the BPG’s Harvey Lee Award, for an outstanding contribution to broadcasting, include Sir Lenny Henry, Moira
    Stuart, John Humphrys, Nicholas Parsons, Sir Terry Wogan, Cilla Black, Melvyn Bragg, Andrew Davies, Sir David Frost, Michael Grade, Norma Percy, Biddy Baxter, Edward Barnes, Phil Redmond, Beryl Vertue, Tony Warren, Anne Wood, John Lloyd and Jon Snow. See more details at
  5. The 49th BPG Awards are supported by Warner Bros. Discovery and Pact. Pact is the UK screen sector trade body representing and supporting independent production and distribution companies.

Further information: Adrian Lobb, BPG: 07986 379 452 or