'Stop interrupting!' Was Jeremy Paxman the real loser of last night's leaders' TV interview?

It was billed as Theresa May versus Jeremy Corbyn, even though they didn’t share the same stage.

But it was another Jeremy who attracted most of the attention during The Battle for Number 10, the Channel 4/Sky News live Q and A ahead of the general election on June 8.

Jeremy v Jeremy... Corbyn and Paxman face off (Picture: PA)
Jeremy v Jeremy… Corbyn and Paxman face off (Picture: PA)

And it was for all the wrong reasons.

MORE: The Battle For Number 10: Five things we learned about Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn
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He once sent shivers down politicians’ spines, but last night Jeremy Paxman was the subject of waves of criticism on social media for his interviewing technique.

The former Newsnight presenter questioned the Conservative and Labour party leaders for 18 minutes each, after they had been subjected to a 20-minute grilling from an audience.

Starting with Mr Corbyn, the interviewer tried to pin the Labour leader down on his past comments on nuclear deterrents, terrorist leaders and the Falklands War.

But he failed to land a telling blow, and Mr Corbyn looks surprisingly comfortable for most of the interview.

He even found time to joke about a ‘very nice chat’ he had with the Queen when Mr Paxman asked him if he planned to abolish the monarchy if he became prime minister.

Labour MP Richard Burgon tweeted that Mr Paxman interrupted Mr Corbyn 49 times in their interview.

When it came to his head-to-head with Mrs May, the presenter had only one triumphant moment, when criticising her recent U-turns on national insurance and social care.

Theresa May went up against Mr Paxman last night (Picture: PA)
Theresa May went up against Mr Paxman last night (Picture: PA)

Mr Paxman told her: ‘If I was sitting in Brussels and I was looking at you as the person I had to negotiate with, I’d think “she’s a blowhard who collapses at the first sign of gunfire”.’

Despite that one spiky verbal attack, Mr Paxman left viewers at home rather disappointed.

Twitter users expressed their frustration at his constant interruptions – often just seconds after an initial question had been asked – accusing Mr Paxman of turning into a parody of himself.

This verdict was echoed by some parts of the media – The Telegraph described Mr Paxman’s interview with Mr Corbyn as ‘embarrassing – and not for the Labour leader’.

It added: ‘Mr Paxman’s familiar approach – snorting and whinnying like a disdainful racehorse – suddenly felt both tired and tiresome.

‘If anything, his relentless interrupting actually appeared to get the studio audience on Mr Corbyn’s side.’

However, Mr Paxman had his defenders, with some Twitter users claiming his interviews last night were the only interesting thing about the election campaign so far.