Russian billionaire and owner of two leading British newspapers, Alexandre Lebedev punched a man in the face on Russian TV.

During a debate on the economic climate, Lebedev – a former KGB operative who owns UK newspapers the Independent and the Evening Standard as well as a stake in Russian airline Aeroflot – stands up agitated as the conversation turns into childish name-calling.

He then punches his rival, property developer Sergei Polonsky in the face, sending him falling onto the floor.

A preview clip shows Polonsky provoking Lebedev by saying that he sometimes felt like “bashing” him “in the face”, prompting Lebedev to lamp him one instead.

Lebedev vented his frustration after the show on his blog, saying: “Unfortunately, NTV viewers cannot see how Polonsky behaved during the one-and-a-half hour recording. Everybody could see that he was absolutely off his head.”

He then mocked Polonsky for complaining of an injured hand and damaged clothing after the fight.

“Now, he's showing his ripped pants, and it is hard to say anything about that. He was hit in the face and he's showing off a hole in the backside of his trousers. Strange,” wrote Lebedev.

This isn’t the first time a fight has broken out on Russian TV, and it isn’t uncommon for Russian political debates to get aggressive.

In 1995, nationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky threw his drink (and his glass) at his opponent during a debate.

Check out Lebedev’s outburst, which has to be broken up by the presenter, here: