BBC America calls up Paxman

TV presenter is tough on politicians

LONDON — BBC America is turning to the corporation’s most ferocious U.K. political anchor in order to help revive the channel.

BBC America’s new topper Garth Ancier hopes the seasoned BBC current affairs interviewer, Jeremy Paxman, can emulate the success of another great TV anti-hero: “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell.

“Jeremy Paxman is the sort of person that Americans will just eat up,” Ancier told the Financial Times.

Paxman, famous for his confrontational encounters with U.K. politicians, has been signed to front a weekly BBC America show provisionally entitled “Paxman.”

Program will be a compilation of previous week’s nightly BBC2 current affairs show, “Newsnight,” concentrating on non-U.K. stories.

Paxman, who is “Newsnight’s” lead presenter, will introduce and link the show.

Program is set to bow in the fall as Ancier seeks to beef up BBC America’s news and current affairs presence.

Paxman, also a best-selling author in Blighty, will give the flagship MacTaggart lecture at this year’s Edinburgh TV Festival, which opens August 24.

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