Friday, December 19, 2008

Tonight on Newsnight and Newsnight Review

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We begin tonight with money, money, money. The euro has just about achieved parity with the pound. Why is this happening? And what's the best way to halt the slide? Or rather, is there any way to halt the slide? Our Economics Editor Paul Mason reports.  

The fragility of sterling is also an indication of the way that the power of the pound has collapsed as China and the Gulf states buy up stronger currencies - the dollar and the euro - and sideline sterling. In his survey of the year tonight our Diplomatic Editor Mark Urban revisits some of the key moments of 2008 - some of which reinforce the idea that America's position as a superpower is on the wane and the East is on the rise.   

And in the last of our end of year interviews I'll be speaking to the youngest ever Formula One champion, the all-star Lewis Hamilton. We recorded the interview on a double-decker bus in Central London because it was the only time he had in the middle of his "Safe Driving"  campaign. As he looked out of the window a crocodile of little children spotted him and started shouting his name and waving. He was so thrilled - he took photos of them and waved  back. Throughout the interview he was very relaxed and open - talking about risk taking  and the way he's going to approach the championship in the coming year. I asked him about his French motorway speeding offence - 122mph in his Mercedes - and suggested he put a pinger in his car like mine to stop him going too fast. That's tonight but you can watch the Lewis Hamilton interview online now.

And now for Newsnight Review....

newsnight review
On a bumper edition of Newsnight Review we'll be looking back on the cultural highlights of the year. What were yours?

Tell us on the blog, and have a look on the Review site to see what everyone from Nicole Kidman to Boris Johnson chose for us as their best bits this year.  

In the studio tonight, Julie Myerson, Ekow Eshun, Paul Morley and Michael Gove will join us to recapture some of the great triumphs and plump turkeys of the year.
We'll be picking out films, books, theatre, art and music which has enthralled us. Who can forget Javier Bardem's chilling portrayal of a psychopath in No Country for Old Men, or Heath Ledger's Joker? The animated films Persepolis, about a young girl growing up in Iran after the revolution and Waltz With Bashir about the Israel Lebanon war offered us different ways of seeing these worlds.  
There was imaginative and edgy crime drama from both sides of the Atlantic - Glenn Close was the lethal legal eagle in Damages, while Ben Whishaw played the terrified accused in Criminal Justice.  
In fiction Joseph O'Neill's Netherland was a most haunting atmospheric post 9/11 novel while Zoe Heller's The Believers, about a trauma in a New York Jewish family tested her readers' appetite for difficult, unsympathetic characters once more. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz felt like no other piece of fiction. Kate Summerskill's The Suspicions of Mr Whicher was the winner of the Samuel Johnson non-fiction award and was un-put-downable.  
Man Ray Picabia and Duchamp at Tate Modern were revelatory, and Tracey Emin grew up in her retrospective at the National Gallery in Edinburgh. On stage Kevin Spacey and Jeff Goldblum ricocheted around each other in Speed the Plow, David Tennant's Hamlet at Stratford was hailed as the best in a generation, while in Pinter's No Man's Land Michael Gambon was both laconic and menacing. And as for music... it was finally Elbow's time with The Seldom Seen Kid and The Killers delivered their second album to mixed reviews.

Join us for some credit crunch-busting cultural chit-chat and festive cheer.

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