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TV matters: Newsnight dress code

Lord West in black tie cut an anachronistic figure in these dressing-down times

Any foreign tourists who tuned into Tuesday's Newsnight (BBC2) on their hotel sets may have got a misleading impression of the prevailing dress code in British television. One of a trio of pundits discussing the overseas aid budget, Lord West, the former First Sea Lord, sported dinner jacket and black tie, with four naval service medals pinned in a line to his lapel. Another gold insignia, saucer-sized, dangled on a ribbon round his neck. Although this was never explained, the assumption was that he had come directly to the studio from an old salts' dinner.

In the early years of TV, it was common for the political and artistic classes to fit appearances into their existing evening schedule. I have memories of Bernard Levin opining in an electric blue smoking jacket and bow-tie, when a pundity opportunity

See full article on The Guardian - TV News