Boris Johnson said broadcaster Eddie Mair had done a "splendid job" during an interview in which the Mayor of London was grilled over his "integrity" and called a "nasty piece of work" .
Mr Johnson said today, "Eddie Mair did a splendid job. There is no doubt that is what the BBC is for - holding us to account".
"I fully concede it wasn't my most blistering performance, but that was basically because I was set to talk about the Olympics and housing in London and he wanted to talk about other things, some of the, my private life and so on, of quite some antiquity, the details of which I wasn't brilliant on".
"He was perfectly within his rights to have a bash at me - in fact it would have been shocking if he hadn't. If a BBC presenter can't attack a nasty Tory politician, what's the world coming to?" Mr Johnson continued.
Asked whether Mr Mair should be given Jeremy Paxman's lead anchor role on Newsnight, he added, "I should think he'll get an Oscar, it was an Oscar-winning performance. I think he'll get a Pullitzer."
More top news
The partner of one of the 11 people killed in the Shoreham air crash said airshows have caused too many fatalities.
Erin Sandilands was told to apply more makeup, wear a skirt or put her hair down because "it's better for the punters".
Theresa May will make her pitch to lead the Conservative party today, 90 minutes before long-time favourite Boris Johnson.