Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Londoner's Diary

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Londoner's Diary

Article excerpt

Paxman is furious about new role as weather forecaster

JEREMY PAXMAN has been stomping round the Newsnight office in unusually crosspatch form this week.

The reason? BBC editors have decided that Newsnight should start carrying weather forecasts.

To make way for the ( exceedingly brief ) forecasts, the BBC2 show has dropped its nightly reports from the world's financial markets.

Instead, an elongated map of the United Kingdom now pops up, complete with a handful of weather symbols. Paxo then machineguns his way through a single sentence, saying if it is going to be wet or windy.

Last night, he briskly and brusquely barked: "Take an umbrella with you."

And that was it. On Monday night, when the viewer- notsofriendly innovation was introduced, Paxman moaned that some high-ups had felt the weather might be of more interest to viewers than the market prices (something he plainly does not agree with).

He promised, however, that the Newsnight forecasts would not feature any of the inane banter which is normally a part of meteorological updates.

"When Jeremy does not want to do something, he has a way of making plain his feelings," says a Newsnight worker. "The market prices at least made us seem like an adult, international programme. Now there is a fear we could start to resemble Breakfast TV."

Is the Daily Star horoscopereading director-general Mark Thompson exacting revenge?

After all, it was a leaked email exchange between Paxo and a colleague that revealed the DG likes biting male staff.

Royal relief over Rainier

GREAT RELIEF all round.

The Foreign Office tells me the funeral of Prince Rainier is not expected to take place until the middle of next week.

Officials at Buckingham Palace were no doubt aghast at the thought that the Prince's funeral might cause yet more problems for Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles's wedding and honeymoon. But the Palace insists Prince Charles is to go ahead with his planned ten-day honeymoon in Scotland after his wedding on Saturday. "We don't anticipate him breaking the honeymoon to attend the occasion," says a spokesman. …

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