Jeremy Paxman defends shooting squirrels with an air rifle while sitting on the TOILET – claiming ‘they’re a menace’ that ‘kill all sorts of things’
- The broadcaster, 70, branded the rodents a ‘menace’ that scare off songbirds
- Ex-Newsnight host, of Oxfon, shrugged off suggestions he was being ‘cruel’
- He clarified that he perches on the loo seat when he takes aim at the squirrels
As Newsnight’s forensic inquisitor, Jeremy Paxman’s crosshairs were trained on prevaricating politicians unarmed with the answers to tough questions.
But now retired from the rough-and-tumble of political interviews, he has turned his guns on a new menace – squirrels, which he shoots with an air rifle from his toilet.
The broadcaster this week defended his habit of picking off the pests while perched on the loo, branding the rodents a ‘menace’ that scare off songbirds.
The 70-year-old, who lives in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, shrugged off suggestions he was being ‘cruel’, responding: ‘They’re annoying me.’
Speaking to comedian Richard Herring (right), Jeremy Paxman defended his habit of picking off squirrels while perched on the loo, branding the rodents a ‘menace’ that scare off songbirds
Speaking to comedian Richard Herring, he explained: ‘You turn around – not while I’m having a c**p of course – just sitting on the loo if it’s by the window.
‘You sit on the loo with the lid down. With an air rifle you can pop, pop off a squirrel or two.’
That Paxman opens fire on squirrels from his toilet was first revealed in the introduction of his 2016 memoir, A Life In Questions.
Justifying the practice, he told Herring: ‘They’re always getting on the bird feeder.
‘I love song birds and I can’t stand the fact that squirrels are always driving them off.
‘They kill all sorts of things. For example they kill trees – entire trees are killed by squirrels. They’re a menace.’
Grey squirrels are allowed to be culled in Britain via means such as shooting, providing it is done in a humane way.
That Paxman opens fire on squirrels from his toilet was first revealed in the introduction of his 2016 memoir, A Life In Questions
Paxman presented the BBC’s current affairs programme, Newsnight, from 1989 to 2014, during which time he gained a reputation as a ferocious interviewer.
As the interviewee this week, he also cast a withering eye over an array of issues, including giving his unvarnished opinion on the BBC.
He claimed ‘any fool’ can read the news and attacked vain reporters more interested in being on television than ‘letting the story tell itself’.
He said: ‘I think news reading is an occupation for an articulated suit. I can’t see any point in reading the news at all.
‘Reading aloud, do you remember reading aloud at school? That’s what it is. I don’t think it has any grandeur or skill or anything to it. Any fool can do it.’
And the current University Challenge host, which airs on BBC2, said: ‘I think I come down on the side of the world would not be a better place if the BBC didn’t exist, but it is an immensely frustrating organisation.’
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