Jeremy Paxman Quits University Challenge After 28 Years

“I’ve been lucky enough to work with an amazing team and to meet some of the swottier brains in the country."
Jeremy Paxman
Jeremy Paxman
David M. Benett via Getty Images

Jeremy Paxman has announced he’s stepping down as host of University Challenge after almost three decades at the helm of the BBC quiz show.

Announcing his exit on Tuesday afternoon, the 72-year-old 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.”

Meanwhile, Kate Phillips, the director of unscripted content at the BBC, 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.”

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.

Earlier this year, the veteran broadcaster shared that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, saying at the time: “I can confirm I have recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

“I am receiving excellent treatment and my symptoms are currently mild.”

He added that he intended “to continue broadcasting and writing for as long as they’ll have me”.

Jeremy was previously host of the BBC’s Newsnight for 25 years, before leaving the topical show in 2014.

Since then, he has fronted occasional segments on Channel 4 News, including coverage of multiple general elections.


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