Over the summer a chap called Dave Murden died. You won’t have heard of him but for Newsnight producers in the Paxman era he was a legend. Studio director? Editor? Chief guest booker? Nope. Dave was the show’s driver.
Following news of Murden’s death, producer Meirion Jones (and many others) took to social media describing him as one of the unsung behind-the-scenes heroes. The reason being he would listen intently to what guests were saying with their PR teams in the back of his car as he drove them to the studio and promptly feed this information straight back to the producers. On one particular occasion Nick Clegg – then Deputy Prime Minister – on his way to TV Centre asked his aide what were the three worst possible questions Paxman could ask him. Perhaps unsurprisingly, when the red light went on they ended up as questions 1,2 and 3.
So be very careful what you say on your way to the studio. You have no idea who might be listening and feeding straight back to the person who’s going to be firing the questions at you.