Jeremy Paxman is to step down as host of the BBC’s University Challenge after 28 years in the hot seat.
He will film his last episode this autumn, and his final series will air on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer from Monday 29 August through to summer ’23.
The show has been filmed at Manchester’s dock10 Studios since 2013, prior to which it was shot in the old Granada Studios from 1962 until ITV retired the show in 1987. The BBC revived the show in 1994, with Paxman replacing former long-serving host Bamber Gascoigne, in 1994.
The show continued to be produced by Granada, and more recently its successor ITV Studios, following its revival.
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.”
Kate Phillips, BBC’s director of unscripted, said: “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, added: “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.”
This year University Challenge celebrates 60 years as Britain’s longest-running quiz show. A special documentary will air on BBC Two and iPlayer on Monday 29 August at 9pm.
A new presenter will be announced later this week.