Video: Jeremy Paxman actually asked Silvio Berlusconi if he called Angela Merkel “an unf**kable lard-arse” on Newsnight last night 6 years ago

Video: Jeremy Paxman actually asked Silvio Berlusconi if he called Angela Merkel “an unf**kable lard-arse” on Newsnight last night

Jeremy Paxman has never been known to duck the hard questions and he asked perhaps the finest question he’s ever asked of anyone on Newsnight last night.

Paxman’s long stint as presenter of Newsnight will come to an end next month and he seems determined to go out with a bang after asking a question of Berlusconi that a former Prime Minister of Italy would never expect to have to answer, even a former Prime Minister with a reputation as notorious as Silvio has.

In a Newsnight interview broadcast last night, Paxman referred to a comment allegedly made by Berlusconi about German chancellor Angela Merkel three years and didn’t beat around the bush when he asked (with a slight hint of a mischievous grin on his face) Berlusconi if he had called Merkel “an unf**kable lard-arse”.

Berlusconi’s discomfort on being asked the question is clearly evident (one could nearly suggest he was making the shape of an arse immediately afterwards) and although the video above cuts off before he has a chance to respond, he eventually told Paxman: "No, I have never had problems with Angela Merkel.... this accusation was made up by someone who wanted to turn Angela against me."

If somebody did genuinely come up with a line like that to deliberately get Silvio into trouble then they certainly have a more vivid imagination than JOE, but it is for moments like this that Paxman will be sorely missed when he eventually calls time on a quarter of a century with Newsnight next month.