This obsession with beards has gone too far, general public
Jeremy Paxman is making the move from grumpy broadcaster to one-man entertainer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with his new show, PAXMAN. But why, oh why, is the Newsnight presenter focussing so much on beards?
Here's Jeremy Paxman, but without a beard
Well it’s probably got something to do with the awful reception his facial hair received back in August of 2013. He was even trending on twitter because of his chin choices, and it’s fair to say Britain’s 26th rudest man – as determined by GQ – was shaken by this.
"The broadcaster, author and Spitting Image puppet probes pogonophobia, underpants and the human condition. With surprises galore and your opportunity to quiz the grand inquisitor, Paxo unstuffs the man ranked by GQ Magazine as 'Britain's 26th rudest person',” said a statement, announcing his new one-man show at this years Edinburgh Fringe.
Speaking last year, he said: “I have grown a beard for the last few summers, and suddenly wondered whether I really needed to shave it off to present Newsnight.” Of course, had he known that the violently bad reaction to his facial hair would bring on something close to pogonophobia – at least in the general public, if not himself – he would have answered his own question with a resounding ‘yes’.
“Unless you're lucky enough to be Uncle Albert on Only Fools And Horses, Demis Roussos or Abu Hamza, the BBC is generally as pogonophobic as the late-lamented Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha,” he added.
So Paxman will be venting some of his beard-based frustrations at this year’s Fringe festival up in Edinburgh, and you as an audience will get a chance to grill him as we’ve all seen him do – sometimes with comic effect – on Newsnight. Just don’t ask him about beards.