Jeremy Paxman has once again caused ripples across the world’s beard wearing community by shaving off his beard, having set Newsnight viewers a-chattering last year when he returned to work from his hols, still wearing his lounging-about-in-the-Med facial plumage.
Mr. Paxman is clearly enjoying the excitement caused by minor changes in his facial appearance (although his attempts to stop wearing a tie on live television broadcasts last year have quietly been forgotten about, not doubt after been hauled in front of the BBC politburo for such a crime against respectability).
As these two before and after photographs show, it isn’t just about the beard. Mr. Paxman also let his hair grow while bearded, providing him with more of a French intellectual aspect than before. His hair, now that he is clean-shaven, has become much tidier and less likely to have fingers run through it while hotly debating the wider philosophical implications of a news story.
In short, the BBC seems to think that neat, tidy presenters with neat, tidy views are what their viewers desire, whereas what the public really wants is men with strong opinions and facial hair that cannot, and will not, be subjugated. Take Che Guevara’s beard away and what are you left with? An asthmatic little Argentine who quickly piled on the pounds. A million bedroom posters, not to mention several sympathetic revolutions, would simply not have taken place had Che not let his beard grow out and taken to wearing a beret (and shortened his name from the less catchy ‘Ernest’).