Television

BBC's show 'Newsnight' turns 25

MUMBAI: On 30 January UK broadcaster BBC Two's show Newsnight celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Over the past 25 years Newsnight has reported on major news stories from the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Falklands War, US strikes on Libya and the current Iraq war.

At the time of launch the collaboration between the news and current affairs departments was a radical approach.

The programme aimed to give the team the time and opportunity to focus on stories in greater detail, but was not universally popular.

The launch date was put back after the management team failed to reach an agreement with the unions. Perhaps the most famous moment in the programme's history is Jeremy Paxman's interview with the then Home Secretary Michael Howard in which he asked the same question 12 times. The question was whether or not he had threatened to overrule the director general of the prison service.

The first Newsnight report on the fall of the Berlin Wall also caused a stir.

While Peter Snow hosted a discussion in East Germany, reporter Olenka Frenkiel turned up in the studio carrying a large chunk of the wall, the first proof for many that the symbol of division really was coming down.

More recent highlights include the Tony Blair tuition fees special in which the Prime Minister took questions from the studio audience, including 19-year-old medical student Julia Prague who forcefully told the PM exactly why she believed a dustman should fund her degree.

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