Alternative Heroes - Jeremy Paxman
As host of the BBC's flagship political show, Newsnight, Jeremy Paxman has been putting politicians over hot coals for about 16 years. He is uncompromising, relentless and sharply intelligent - and isn't afraid to stand up to those masters of spin and avoidance, as Michael Howard famously found out in 1998 when Paxman repeated "did you overrule him?" some 28 times when the MP tried to dodge the question.
Seeing Paxman in full flow is one of the things I miss about living in England. In Japan the way people talk on TV means there's no real difference between a political correspondent questioning an MP or a cookery show host asking an old lady how to make a cake. There are rigid rules, and everyone seems to follow them. We could certainly use a few Paxman's over here, and for that, as well as being the Inquisitor General of Whitehall and keeping University Challenge under a firm hand, Jeremy Paxman, you are an alternative hero.