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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Jeremy Paxman ‘looking forward to watching College Challenge from home’


Jeremy Paxman, who signed for the College Challenge one last time, said he was looking forward to “watching” with his fans at home.

The 73-year-old veteran broadcaster and former Newsnight presenter has hosted the series since the BBC revived it in 1994 until it aired on Monday.

Paxman announced his retirement from quiz shows a year after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

He will be replaced by journalist and broadcaster Amol Rajan, the third host in the show’s 61-year history. The show was first introduced in 1962 by Bamber Gascoigne.

Broadcast News Association Awards – London

Paxman has hosted a quiz show since 1994 (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Paxman concluded by saying, “I still want to thank Jung Chang for handing out the trophy, all the teams that have entertained us over the past few months, and you guys for watching.

“The College Challenge is coming back later this year and I look forward to watching it with you. So for me it’s good night. Good night.”

In the final episode, Durham University became the champion of the 2022-2023 University Challenge and received warm applause. Rong Zhang, author of “Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China”, presented the stainless steel book award to the winners.

Chang said: “I am delighted to be invited to present the trophy here, as the University Challenge was the most prestigious program when I first arrived in the UK in 1978.

“I grew up during the Cultural Revolution in China, when schools and universities were closed, and (Chairman) Mao Zedong said: ‘The more books you read, the more stupid you are.’

“And (these) books are being burned all over China, so tonight, I see these brilliant minds at work, and I want to congratulate them for their brilliant minds, and I really hope they can use their minds to make our world a better place.” Better”

Initiating the quiz, Paxman told both teams: “Well, you’re all veterans at this now, so go ahead.”

During his 29 years at the helm, his famous disapproving look and combative style have brought him into conflict with many of the contestants.

Durham beat Bristol 155-120, Paxman told the latter, to be runners-up and “in the final” after the team was asked about science fiction, protein, a picture round featuring historical battle scenes. “Absolutely No Problem”, Composer and Literary Review.

Born in Leeds, Paxman began his broadcasting career in 1972 on the BBC’s Graduate Trainee Programme.

He worked on local radio, covering troubles in Belfast, and shortly after moving to London in 1977, he switched from Tonight to the investigative flagship show Panorama.

He has also worked on the Six O’Clock News and BBC One’s Breakfast Time.

college challenge

Q&A with host Amol Rajan on the updated version of the College Challenge (Ric Lowe/Lifted Entertainment/ITV Studios)

In 1989, he became the host of Newsnight, and until June 2014, he interviewed prominent figures in politics and culture.

Withdrawing after 25 years, Paxman launched a newsnight programme, which included an interview with then-Mayor of London Boris Johnson, while they both rode tandem bicycles.

In May 2021, he announced that he was being treated for Parkinson’s disease, but said his symptoms were “currently mild.”

The BBC confirmed last August that he was stepping down as host of the University Challenge.

The College Challenge returns this summer with a new title sequence and a cast of students.

The BBC recently released the first images of the Modern University Challenge with Rajan, but the famous title track and Roger Tilling’s unrivaled voice will remain.


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