Newsnight presenter divorced

Newsnight presenter Gavin Esler was divorced by his wife yesterday on the grounds of his "unreasonable behaviour".

A decree nisi was granted to Patricia Esler by a judge sitting at the High Court's Family Division in London.

The award-winning BBC broadcaster and teacher Patricia were married in July 1979 and have two children. Their split was reported in 2008.

Scottish-born Mr Esler later went public with a relationship with his much younger girlfriend.

The BBC journalist, 57, and Anna Phoebe, a 28-year-old violinist, became a high-profile couple after his marriage broke down. They were spotted at several red carpet events.

In a question-and-answer style divorce paper, which was made public yesterday, Mrs Esler was asked: "If you consider that the respondent's behaviour has affected your health, state the effect it has had."

Mrs Esler, of Ealing, London, answered: "It has caused stress and anxiety."

Neither party attended the brief proceedings before District Judge Anne Aitken.

Mr Esler, who is also an author and newspaper columnist, did not defend the case.

A former columnist for The Scotsman, Esler joined the presenting team of Newsnight in January 2003, having spent five years anchoring BBC News 24. Before that, he was the BBC's chief North America correspondent.