If you didn’t hear it, don’t miss John Humphrys interviewing Jeremy Paxman on this morning’s Today programme (you can hear it online). Paxman has issued a resounding critique of British broadcasting generally and the BBC specifically which will – given the power of his brand – probably have more impact than any attack on the Corporation since Dennis Potter called John Birt a "croak-voiced Dalek". Paxman wants television and radio to define "a clear sense of purpose", an ethical mission beyond the imperatives of business, and he sounded, as you would expect, very plausible.
Yet the appeal, frankly, of this exchange had nothing to do with the content and everything to do with the identity of the protagonists. Humphrys versus Paxman! It is up there with Ali versus Foreman, Borg versus McEnroe, Coe versus Ovett. It is Bamber Gascoigne and Magnus Magnusson squaring up in a pub quiz, or Richard Dawkins up against God at the Oxford Union. Listen to this historic encounter – and let us know who you think won the bout.