Presenter might keep controversial new look

Jeremy Paxman has hit back after Newsnight viewers criticised his new beard.

The presenter caused a Twitter storm on Monday night when he fronted the politics show with new bushy facial hair.

His name was trending on social media as fans aired their verdict on his controversial new look.

Jeremy‘s beard has even had its own tribute song recorded.

Whilst some viewers approved, others slated the whiskers with one viewer saying Jeremy resembled ‘a rubbish Doctor Who‘.

But the feisty host has retaliated and accused some viewers – and even the BBC – of having a facial hair phobia.

‘I have grown a beard for the last few summers, and suddenly wondered whether I really needed to shave it off,’ Jeremy, 63, says in a statement on Newsnight’s Twitter page.

‘Unless you’re lucky enough to be Uncle Albert on Only Fools and Horses, Demis Roussos or Abu Hamza, the BBC is generally as pogonophobic as the late-lamented Albanian dictator, Enver Hoxha.

‘I may keep it or I may shave it off, but I think I’ll make my own decision.’

Anna Francis