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Jeremy Paxman announces he's leaving University Challenge after 28 years

Jeremy Paxman announces he's leaving University Challenge after 28 years

A new host is set to take over the popular BBC show after Paxman leaves this autumn

University Challenge host Jeremy Paxman is set to step down after 28 years presenting the show.

Paxman took on the role of host in 1994, and after almost 30 years of quizzing university students is set to leave the show this autumn.

The presenter, 72, will film his last episode of University Challenge this autumn, with his final series airing on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer from 29 August through to summer 2023.  

Commenting on his departure, Paxman said: “I’ve had a blast hosting this wonderful series for nearly 29 years. I’ve been lucky enough to work with an amazing team and to meet some of the swottier brains in the country. It gives me hope for the future.”

Paxman has presented University Challenge for nearly 30 years.
ATHENA PICTURE AGENCY LTD / Alamy Stock Photo

Kate Phillips, BBC’s Director of Unscripted, praised Paxman's years of work on the show as she commented: “Since the BBC revived University Challenge in 1994 Jeremy has been at the front and centre of the show’s success and is without doubt one of the world’s finest, and most formidable quizmasters.

"We are hugely grateful to Jeremy for his dedication to the programme for an incredible 28 years, he will be much missed by us all and the show’s millions of viewers.” 

Peter Gwyn, Executive Producer of University Challenge, made clear the presenter would leave behind big boots to fill, saying: "Jeremy has been our presenter, colleague and friend for twenty-eight years, and everyone on the University Challenge production team will miss him greatly.

"He'll be sorely missed too by both our audience and by the generations of students who've relished the chance to pit themselves against him in more than a thousand matches." 

A new presenter for the competition is set to be announced later this week.

Featured Image Credit: Garydoak/Alamy BBC