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Jeremy Paxman invests in Scottish natural whisky distillery

Jeremy Paxman has invested in what’s regarded as Scotland’s first natural whisky distillery, part-owned via the previous prisons leader on the centre of his notorious interview with the previous house secretary Michael Howard.

The College Problem presenter is without doubt one of the monetary backers of Nc’nean Distillery, a “inexperienced” Scotch manufacturer at the Morvern peninsula within the west Highlands, based via Derek Lewis, the previous director basic of the Jail Provider, and his daughter, Annabel Thomas.

The corporate makes use of renewable power to make whisky from organically grown barley. It’s bought in bottles created from recycled glass and 99% of the waste created via the distilling procedure is reused via a neighbouring farm.

Paxman, 71, mentioned: “I’ve loved a dram for extra years than I care to keep in mind. When the chance got here alongside to become involved with a Scotch this is made whilst caring for the surroundings, I used to be prepared to become involved. How incessantly are you able to say that your excitement reasons no hurt to any person else?”

Lewis used to be sacked as director basic of the Jail Provider in England and Wales in 1995 via Howard, the then house secretary, after two high-profile break-outs.

Later, Paxman interrogated Howard on Newsnight about whether or not he had threatened to overrule Lewis’s resolution to not droop the governor at probably the most jails in query. Paxman notoriously requested the similar query 12 instances, to which Howard refrained from giving a instantly solution.

In retirement, Lewis, 75, purchased the Drimnin Property, on which the distillery sits, at the Morvern peninsula at the west coast of Scotland. Nc’nean – an abbreviation of Neachneohain, the title of the Scots Gaelic goddess of spirits – used to be established there in 2017 when 39-year-old Thomas, the corporate’s leader govt officer, gave up her process as a control guide in London to apply her dream of constructing whisky.

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To construct the industry, she raised £7.5m from an EU grant and different buyers, together with Paxman, who owns a zero.6% stake. A recent spherical of investment in 2020 introduced in an extra £1.7m and passed 11% of the corporate to the taxpayer-backed quango Scottish Endeavor. Lewis stays at the board of administrators.

Paxman, a prepared angler, has been outspoken about his love of the Highlands and remaining yr accused the salmon farming business in Scotland of hanging wild shares of the fish liable to extinction.

He has prior to now referred to his fondness of whisky, describing himself as “a fan and constant supporter of the Highlands and Islands”, including: “I do my perfect to strengthen one in every of their primary industries. It’s a kind of social provider.”