Video: Jeremy Paxman and Boris Johnson take to the streets on a tandem

"It's a bloody nightmare" to cycle in London, TV presenter tells mayor in clip from final show

by Simon_MacMichael   June 18, 2014  

Jeremy Paxman and Boris Johnson in tandem (BBC Newsnight YouTube still)

Jeremy Paxman presents BBC2 show Newsnight for the final time tonight – and to mark the occasion, he goes for a spin on a tandem with Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

The pair have regularly crossed swords in the past, and if this trailer of this evening’s show is anything to go by, we’re in for more of the same as Paxman leaves the programme after hosting it for a quarter of a century.

“I want to show you how delightful it is to cycle in London,” Johnson tells Paxman, who regularly rides his bike to work in the city.

“It is not delightful to cycle in London, it’s a bloody nightmare!” he replies.

21 user comments

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I imagine Paxman takes taxis/private transport everywhere (well you would if you were paid over a million a year by the BBC wouldn't you?). Furthermore I doubt very much that he is a cyclist of any description, and being on a tandem behind the foppish Etonian goon BoJo won't exactly be the best introduction will it?!

Cycling in London is a joy compared to the train/tube, and is unbeatable in rush hour. My two pence worth!

Nick0's picture

posted by Nick0 [47 posts]
18th June 2014 - 10:33

12 Likes

That's right 'Paxo', you tell it like it really is... Smile

posted by Paul_C [257 posts]
18th June 2014 - 10:35

15 Likes

Nick0 wrote:
I imagine Paxman takes taxis/private transport everywhere

Google, as always, is your friend (this might be from the DM but there are pictures for those that don't want to read Wink

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1384624/Paxo-Great-Inflator-TVs-...

Luminosity's picture

posted by Luminosity [73 posts]
18th June 2014 - 10:43

14 Likes

I saw BoJo on his bike the other week, pedalling slowly through the traffic, looking slightly eccentric in his suit and with his helmet askew over a shaggy mane of hair. But give him his due, he does ride a great deal in the city. And he's right, cycling in London is a great way to get around.

Paxo of course prefers to commute in his helicopter from his Thames-side property outside of the city to Battersea heliport.

I don't think I'd want a lazy moaner like Paxo on the back of a tandem if I was riding one. If I did ride a tandem for any reason, I certainly wouldn't put that wobbly horror at the top of my list.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2308 posts]
18th June 2014 - 10:44

8 Likes

Never thought I'd actually think 'ooh I must watch newsnight tonight !' should be a good show, in fact this should be a new series 'the scary bikers'

posted by pubcyclist [15 posts]
18th June 2014 - 11:02

4 Likes

I like Paxman. He's a clever man who doesn't suffer fools gladly. He'd certainly contest Old Ridgeback's assertion that he travels to work by helicopter. A simple website search shows a completely different gentleman called Jeremy Paxton who owns a helicopter.. : Wave

God knows what Paxman would make of all the twaddle spouted on this site.

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1093 posts]
18th June 2014 - 11:35

16 Likes

I'm sure the BBC must have the Goodies old bike (a tridem?) in storage somewhere. We can have Boris in the middle being harangued by Paxo at the front and Jon Snow at the back.

posted by bikebot [787 posts]
18th June 2014 - 11:43

17 Likes

If you are alert and relatively experienced then cycling in London is fine but I encourage people to avoid major roundabouts. I can't picture getting onto the tube or a bus again anytime soon.... Nightmares all around in my opinion.

Extra bike? What extra bike dear?

goggy's picture

posted by goggy [115 posts]
18th June 2014 - 12:27

7 Likes

MercuryOne wrote:
God knows what Paxman would make of all the twaddle spouted on this site.

He would probably say, in his bestest possible BBC announcer's voice, what a load of complete and utter s**t.... and he wouldn't be far wrong.

posted by leqin [130 posts]
18th June 2014 - 12:30

14 Likes

Ye Gods you read the Daily Fail.... and he is in a suit, so how far was he going, a mile?! Not a cyclist then...

Nick0's picture

posted by Nick0 [47 posts]
18th June 2014 - 12:39

9 Likes

Nick0 wrote:
he is in a suit, so how far was he going, a mile?! Not a cyclist then...

Using miles instead of kilometres as a unit of distance? Surprise

Not a cyclist then... Wink

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [8487 posts]
18th June 2014 - 13:23

11 Likes

MercuryOne wrote:
I like Paxman. He's a clever man who doesn't suffer fools gladly. He'd certainly contest Old Ridgeback's assertion that he travels to work by helicopter. A simple website search shows a completely different gentleman called Jeremy Paxton who owns a helicopter.. : Wave

God knows what Paxman would make of all the twaddle spouted on this site.

Ok, my mistake so delete the middle paragraph of what I said earlier. But everything else stands.

I'd go with the Guardian piece, that Paxo represents both the best and worst of the UK media elite. I have rather more respect for Kirsty Wark to be honest as she got the job by being really good at it, rather than having the significant advantages Paxman had with regard to connections. I'm not saying he's not been good at the job, but Kirsty Wark really had to prove she was good enough in a way that he never did.

And no, I still wouldn't want a lazy moaner like him on the back of a tandem I was piloting. I didn't vote for Boris but at least he does know how to pedal in traffic.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2308 posts]
18th June 2014 - 13:53

11 Likes

I spotted Mr Paxman riding down Park Lane cycle path earlier this year. He looked properly grumpy.

posted by thenugster [1 posts]
18th June 2014 - 15:30

5 Likes

What balls.

harman_mogul's picture

posted by harman_mogul [155 posts]
18th June 2014 - 15:49

9 Likes

Nick0 wrote:
Ye Gods you read the Daily Fail.... and he is in a suit, so how far was he going, a mile?! Not a cyclist then...

I had to respond to that. I happen to have been a cyclist now ie in a club for over 40 years. I've done the racing all kinds and the commuting as well and then just cycling for a giggle just for the hell of it.

The best thing that could happen to cycling in this country in my humble opinion is that people use it as a just a good means of transport. Just like the Dutch do. Yes in your ordinary clothes. Like as if you were walking or planning to get a bus or a train.

At the moment too many people think that cycling is a minority sport that needs lycra and fancy bikes to do. oh and that some people might use to get somewhere sometimes if they don't have a car.

what we need is to see cycling as a very good means of local transport that could be taken up as a sport if you wanted.

That would be progress.

Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand.

posted by oozaveared [745 posts]
18th June 2014 - 16:32

15 Likes

Back to the news story, I've just heard this is Paxo's final appearance on Newsnight. Definitely one to watch, end of an era and all that.

posted by bikebot [787 posts]
18th June 2014 - 17:30

4 Likes

Nick0 wrote:
Ye Gods you read the Daily Fail.... and he is in a suit, so how far was he going, a mile?! Not a cyclist then...

Please tell me you forgot the sarcasm emoticon or your not a troll...

So you have to wear Lycra to cycle to work? Tell me. How far does work have to be before you can contemplate cycling to it 10 miles, 20 miles? The recent surge in mamils is all well and good, but all it does is say to people that they need to be fully kitted out to throw their leg over a top tube!

One of my colleagues in work cycles a mile and wears regular clothes. He also happens to be a member of one of the local clubs. Me I wear Lycra because I have a thirty mile round trip. BUT If I go to the shops/pub it's regular clothes, trouser clips and the town beater. Sometime like oozaveared I go out just for the sheer hell of it and enjoy myself.

Folk need to see that cycling is fun, good for their body and wallet. The sooner we can renormalise cycling as a viable means of transport as well as a leisure pastime the better. I would much rather see a hundred Paxmans on the streets because that means a hundred less vehicles on our streets.

giff77's picture

posted by giff77 [1068 posts]
18th June 2014 - 17:54

10 Likes

The top image is a definite contender for Viz's UpTheArseCorner

While it may be a great stunt, it probably won't do much for the promotion or normalisation of cycling in the Uk.

Well played to them. I once did 2 miles on the back of a tandemand was sh1tscared the whole way due to the lack of control I had. Pilot was very experienced and was a very good mate so had absolute trust but never again.

Also kudos for the suits. Cycling doesn't always need lycra especially as an urban transport mode. Fine for long trips or work commutes when you're getting changed anyway, but not for nipping around town

posted by gazza_d [267 posts]
18th June 2014 - 20:18

4 Likes

Nick0 wrote:
Furthermore I doubt very much that he is a cyclist of any description

'fraid he is, as well as the other evidence in the replies here, I have seen seen him riding along the Thames Path with his family. Sorry.

posted by stuartp [64 posts]
18th June 2014 - 21:20

4 Likes

bikebot wrote:
I'm sure the BBC must have the Goodies old bike (a tridem?) in storage somewhere. We can have Boris in the middle being harangued by Paxo at the front and Jon Snow at the back.

The Goodies one was known as the "trandem", but technically, the correct term is "tandem" regardless of the number of seats

posted by Al__S [637 posts]
19th June 2014 - 7:53

1 Like

On iplayer if anyone wants to see it - http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b047bz50/newsnight-18062014

Paxo and Boris are at 30:20,

posted by bikebot [787 posts]
19th June 2014 - 11:27

0 Likes