Paxman waits while Dimbleby mulls QT offer

Feb 7, 2011
Sophie Taylor

Dimbleby offered five more years in Question Time chair - but will he go to Glasgow?

The long-serving BBC broadcaster David Dimbleby is reported to have been offered a further five-year contract to present Question Time at a weekly fee of £15,000. If he accepts, it means he could still be chairing the political debate show when he's 77.

Needless to say, the news has raised eyebrows among senior female broadcasters who - with the notable exception of the much-Botoxed Anne Robinson, 66 - rarely see these golden oldie opportunities come their way.

Former newsreader Anna Ford, 67, tells the Daily Telegraph today: "I wonder how these charming dinosaurs such as Mr Dimbleby and John Simpson continue to procure contracts with the BBC, when, however hard I look, I fail to see any woman of the same age, the same intelligence and the same rather baggy looks."

The offer to Dimbleby will presumably come as a disappointment to three younger men in the running - John Humphrys, 65, Jeremy Paxman, 60, and Jeremy Vine, a mere boy at 45.

There was press speculation only last week that Paxman might soon fancy a rest from the nightly Newsnight grind and that Question Time would be just the ticket.

Paxman might still get his chance. It is not certain that Dimbleby will accept the job under the current threat to move the production of Question Time from London to Glasgow as part of the BBC's controversial "take it to the regions" campaign. The programme's editor Ed Havard, who was hand-picked for the job by the show's host, has already resigned in protest, while Dimbleby himself won't say what his plans are.

Glasgow might not be to everyone's taste, but it is handy for the River Tweed - and Paxman is a serious fisherman.

Sign up for our daily newsletter