Jeremy Paxman’s own struggles with Romanians

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In 2008 Paxman hired Daniela Savin and her fiance, Robert Laslau, for housekeeping duties. They later complained that he paid them £5 an hour – 25p less than the minimum wage

Newsnight’s Jeremy Paxman brusquely demands of Ukip leader Nigel Farage: ‘What’s your problem with Romanians?’

But the inquisitor has had his own difficulties with Roma folk. In 2008, he hired Daniela Savin and her fiancé, Robert Laslau, for housekeeping duties at his Oxfordshire farmhouse after recruiting them from a Romanian website.

Somewhat ungraciously, they later complained that he paid them £5 an hour – 25p less than the minimum wage – for a 40-hour week. However, they did have free accommodation above his garage, so the minimum wage didn’t apply.

The late Enoch Powell, on being asked by a barber how he liked his hair cut, famously replied: ‘In silence.’

But Cambridge don Mary Beard tells an Oldie literary lunch it’s not an Enoch original. She found it while researching a book about Roman humour.

Fifty years after his death, a new book about thirsty Irish writer Brendan Behan discusses a riotous visit he made to New York for the opening of his play The Hostage in 1960.

Author Dave Hannigan recalls: ‘Audiences bought tickets in the hope of hearing Behan drunkenly heckling the actors from the stalls.

 

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