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BBC names new University Challenge host

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The BBC has confirmed that journalist and broadcaster, Amol Rajan, will take over from Jeremy Paxman as the host of University Challenge.

Rajan, who’s been the BBC’s Media Editor since 2016, as well as presenting the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, will start in Autumn 2023. As a result of the role, he will step down as Media Editor later this year, however will continue at Radio 4.

“Being asked to host my favourite TV programme is dream-come-true territory. I have watched University Challenge obsessively for years, addicted to its high standards, glorious title music, and inspirational contestants. It’s the best possible antidote to cynicism about young people, allowing millions of us to test our wits against the best minds of a new generation, and annoy and impress our families by barking answers from the sofa,” he said.

“I am very conscious that in the late, great Bamber, and that giant of British culture, Jeremy, I have vast shoes to fill. With his immense intellect, authority, and respect from students and viewers alike, Jeremy hands over a format, and show, as strong as ever.

“I won’t stop thinking today about my late, beloved Dad, whose devotion to Education brought him to England, whose love of Knowledge I imbibed as a kid, and whose belief in the noble challenge of university so shaped my life. I’ll devote my first Starter for 10 to him – and to the millions of quiz fiends who, like me, love those rare occasions when they know the answer before the students do.”

Filmed at MediaCityUK’s dock10, University Challenge is produced by Lifted Entertainment, which is part of ITV Studios. This year Britain’s longest running quiz show marks its 60th anniversary.

“University Challenge is an incredibly important staple of our entertainment slate as it continues to entertain, challenge and educate audiences,” added Kate Phillips, BBC’s Director of Unscripted.

“We’re delighted that Amol has agreed to be the new host. Jeremy leaves a very big chair to fill but Amol’s experience, expertise and sense of humour makes him the perfect fit for one of Britain’s longest running and toughest quiz shows. If future student contestants think they’ll get an easier ride with Amol taking over, they can think again!”

Paxman has hosted the show for 28 years.

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