Jeremy later released a statement :
'I may keep it or I may shave it off, but I think I'll make my own decision. I have grown a beard for the last few summers, and suddenly wondered whether I really needed to shave it off to present 'Newsnight'. Unless you're lucky enough to be Uncle Albert on Only Fools and Horses, Demis Roussos or Abu Hamza, the BBC is generally as pogonophobic as the late-lamented Albanian dictator, Enver Hoxha.'
Twitter went into meltdown on Monday after his facial hair made its 'Newsnight' debut. Minutes after the news programme started on BBC Two, the phrase 'Paxman beard' had become a trending topic.
Bookmakers, 'Ladbrokes' announced new odds on the future of the veteran broadcaster's beard - offering odds of 4/5 for him to keep the beard for the rest of his 'Newsnight' appearances this week, and 33/1 for him to retire without shaving.
Alex Donohue (right) said: "Paxman is odds-on to keep the pruners away this week. The future of the beard isn't as certain but if it lasts the month we'll have to slash the odds about it sticking around all year."
The beard news made the national newspapers.
What’s all the fuzz about, then? Jeremy Paxman's new beard lights up the Twitterverse
Jeremy Paxman's beard sparks Twitter posts
Jeremy Paxman, the BBC journalist, saw himself trending on Twitter within minutes of appearing with a beard on Newsnight
Jeremy Paxman's beard tickles Newsnight viewers and Twitter
Presenter laments BBC pogonophobia and says his facial hair may stay after it became one of Twitter's most popular topics
If nothing else, we now know that pogonophobic is 'an irrational hatred of beards'.