Former Newsnight host Jeremy Paxman has admitted he was approached about standing as Conservative candidate for the mayor of London but said he would not do the job for “all the eclairs in Paris”.
Paxman, who has described himself as “a one-nation Tory”, was reportedly asked to enter the field to replace Boris Johnson, who is standing down in 2016.
He said the story “began life as a Boris Johnson joke”, adding: “I was indeed approached about the gig and invited to see David Cameron to discuss the idea. I decided a week ago that I wouldn’t take it on for all the eclairs in Paris.”
Paxman, who recently signed up to work with Channel 4 on its election coverage, bowed out of Newsnight this year after a quarter of a century with the flagship current affairs show.
His career includes a stint covering the troubles in Northern Ireland and working as a presenter on radio, breakfast TV and the Six O’Clock News before finding the show he made his own.
The Leeds-born broadcaster, who studied at Cambridge University, is the author of a string of books including studies of Victorian Britain, politics and fishing, and continues to host quiz show University Challenge.