Knock Knock: Jeremy Paxman surprises Canterbury residents at home

Jeremy Paxman and the Journal's Alex Lister

Legendary TV presenter Jeremy Paxman surprised several Canterbury residents on Tuesday by turning up on their doorsteps to ask questions about their views on politics and the local elections.

Filming for a new Channel 5 documentary, the University Challenge host went canvassing with the Journal’s Alex Lister, who is standing for the Lib Dems in Westgate Ward.

Alex said: “Jeremy didn’t hold back in the slightest. Already reeling from the surprise of seeing Jeremy Paxman on their doorstep, locals had to deal with a flurry of questions.

“It was all good natured, but Jeremy talks to people like he talks to politicians in interviews – pretty full on!

“I admire Canterbury’s resilience. Others might have crumbled under such an unexpected grilling.”

The documentary which is to be broadcast later this month examines how public attitudes to politicians have changed since Brexit, and whether anger towards Westminster politicians is also directed at local councillors and candidates.

Alex added: “It’s definitely a feature of this election. 90% of the people we speak to say how fed up they are with parliament in general.

“Both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn said that since 80% voted for either Labour or the Conservatives in the last general election, it means 80% want them to deliver Brexit. This is definitely stretching the truth to the point of incredulity.

“Canterbury is a very Remain city, so that message hasn’t gone down well. But unsurprisingly those who voted Leave are also annoyed because Theresa May’s Conservative government hasn’t delivered it.

“Jeremy wanted an answer to why people hate politicians. I’d say he’s found it in Canterbury.”

The local elections will be held on Thursday 2 May.


  1. As the independent candidate for Westgate ward I find this rather depressing. We have plenty of local issues we should be raising and fighting on, Brexit shouldn’t even be an issue at this election. If Mr Paxman talked about local services, state of our city, and rubbish collections then so be it, but by talking about Brexit it shows that the Lib Dems aren’t targeting the issues that matter this Thursday.

  2. Canterbury city voted about 60% remain. The constituency of Canterbury (i.e. the area of which Rosie Duffield is MP) voted narrowly to remain. The council district, which includes Herne Bay, overall voted narrowly to leave.


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