Monday, 11 December 2017

Paxman shows his compassionate side

JEREMY PAXMAN showed a different side to his character when he spoke at a fund-raising dinner in Benson on Saturday.

JEREMY PAXMAN showed a different side to his character when he spoke at a fund-raising dinner in Benson on Saturday.

The former Newsnight host, who lives in Stonor, spoke to more than 200 guests at the event, which was arranged by the Rotary Club of Henley Bridge to raise money for Help for Hospitals Uganda.

In a variation on Paxman?s one-man show at the Edinburgh Fringe festival last year, each table bought a Scrabble tile with a letter on it and he had to talk about a topic beginning with that letter. He spoke about Tony Blair, the First World War and the Dalai Lama.

Three tables had blank tiles so the diners were able to ask him a question of their choice.

The dinner was organised by former Nettlebed GP Jim McWhirter, a Rotarian who founded Help for Hospitals Uganda.

He said: ?Most of the guests have supported me in the work I?ve done in Uganda over the last six years. The dinner was a celebration of what we?ve achieved and people came from across the country.

?It was a fabulous and outstanding success, far beyond my wildest dreams.

?Jeremy was fascinating, humorous, interesting and profound and everyone gave us some very positive feedback. He had an abrasive persona on Newsnight but he came across very pleasantly and talked very nicely.? The evening began with a champagne reception, which was followed a Moroccan-themed three-course meal that included kemia canapes and beef and prune tagine.

There was a raffle with prizes including a hot air balloon tour over Henley and a meal for two at the Five Horseshoes in Maidensgrove.

Nettlebed chef Charlotte Turner provided the food and there was an auction with gifts donated by local businesses.

More than £17,000 was raised.

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