Jeremy Paxman's University Challenge Replacement Announced As Amol Rajan

"Being asked to host my favourite TV programme is dream-come-true territory."
Jeremy Paxman
Jeremy Paxman

The BBC has confirmed that Amol Rajan will succeed Jeremy Paxman as the host of University Challenge.

Amol said of the news on Thursday afternoon: “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.”

The journalist and broadcaster has served as the BBC’s Media Editor for the past six years, and also hosts the Today programme on Radio 4.

Amol Rajan pictured in 2015
Amol Rajan pictured in 2015
John Phillips via Getty Images

He added: “I am very conscious that in the late, great Bamber [Gascoigne, the show’s original host], 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.”

Jeremy announced earlier this week that he would be stepping down as host of the BBC quiz show after 28 years.

“I’ve had a blast hosting this wonderful series for nearly 29 years,” the 72-year-old, who shared last year he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, said.

“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.”

Jeremy’s final season of University Challenge will begin airing on BBC Two and iPlayer later this month, with his last episode set to be filmed in the autumn.

The BBC has said that Amol will then take over from 2023 onwards.

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