Amol Rajan to take over as host of University Challenge

·2-min read
Amol Rajan to take over as host of University Challenge credit:Bang Showbiz
Amol Rajan to take over as host of University Challenge credit:Bang Showbiz

Amol Rajan will take over from Jeremy Paxman as the host of 'University Challenge'.

The 39-year-old journalist and broadcaster will front the show from autumn 2023 onwards - after Jeremy announced this week he is leaving the quiz show - and Amol admits he has watched the programme "obsessively for years".

He said: "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."

Amol admits he has "vast shoes to fill" in taking over from Jeremy on the show, which was originally hosted by Bamber Gascoigne from 1962 to 1987.

He added: "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."

Peter Gwyn, Executive Producer of 'University Challenge', added: "The 'University Challenge' production team is thrilled to be working with Amol as he takes the programme forward next year.

"We've long admired him as an outstanding journalist and broadcaster - especially as he had the guts to play for his own college in our Christmas series a few years ago!"

Earlier this week, Jeremy said he had a "blast" leading the show for more than 28 years.

The 72-year-old broadcaster 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."