Broadcaster and journalist Jeremy Paxman brought with him his trademark combination of forthright frankness and well-informed opinion when he visited the School. He also brought his dog, Derek!
The 67-year-old question master from the BBC’s University Challenge made his name with his tough interviewing style on the corporation’s Newsnight.
When he came to the QE Politics Society event, the shoe was on the other foot, with boys from all year groups seizing the chance to grill the famous interviewer. However, that did not prevent some boys, including Politics Society Chairman Tej Mehta, from being ‘Paxmanned’ – robustly taken to task for the slant of their questions – albeit in very good humour.
The format of the visit, which was arranged by Head of Politics Liam Hargadon, was a question-and-answer session. Mr Paxman answered questions on a wide variety of subjects, including Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn, pollsters, the 2017 general election, social media, Donald Trump and, of course, Brexit.
The Headmaster said: “Mr Paxman was typically forthright, proffering honest and entertaining opinions on many of the key issues of the day.
“Such visits give our boys unique opportunities to learn from national and international experts. They also foster our pupils’ skills in asking good questions, which we see as an important aspect of developing boys’ intellectual capabilities – and who better to learn from than the master questioner himself?”
“Through interacting with somebody of Mr Paxman’s stature, they learn to think carefully and analytically, to articulate clearly and to stand firm in their arguments, while remaining willing to listen to differing views.
“I would like to thank him for his visit and also for the surprise visit of his cocker spaniel, who was a big hit with the boys.”