Rod Liddle

My verdict on Newsnight’s new face? Pretty — and awful

My verdict on Newsnight's new face? Pretty — and awful
Text settings

I hope you enjoyed the new post-Paxman Newsnight last night, if you still watch the programme. It was bad on a whole new level of badness (watch it here). Presented by an Afghan-Australian woman called Yalda Hakim, of whom I had never heard. Yalda was hampered in her presentational debut by being unable to string a sentence together; nor did she have the knowledge or acuity to ask interesting questions of her guests. On one cringing occasion, the reporter William Dalrymple asked questions on her behalf (of a supporter of the triumphant Indian politician Narendra Modi, who, of course, Newsnight REALLY loathes), because she was unable to. On another occasion, during an interview with the leader of the Green Party, she continually referred to the “European mindset”, which confused her interviewee. I think she meant a disaffection for the EU, but it was hard to tell. During an interview on the Richard Scudamore business she asked “what if it had been a race email?” What is a “race email”?

Mind you, she’s quite fit. And yes, that would be a sexist observation were it not for the fact that I cannot fathom any other reason the lass was presenting the BBC’s premiere news and current affairs show. Well, ok, I can think of one, but let’s not go there.