University Challenge: Samira Ahmed 'would love' to replace Jeremy Paxman

·3-min read
Samira Ahmed has put herself forward to replace Jeremy Paxman as host of University Challenge. (Getty Images)
Samira Ahmed has put herself forward to replace Jeremy Paxman as host of University Challenge. (Getty Images)

University Challenge fans are calling for Samira Ahmed to replace Jeremy Paxman as the quiz show's new host.

Earlier today, Paxman announced that he will be stepping down from his role as the show's presenter and quiz master after more than 28 years. The BBC has said that his replacement will be named later this week with many fans of the show hoping that it will be broadcaster Samira Ahmed.

Ahmed addressed the rumours on Twitter and put herself forward for the job: "I think you should all know: I approached University Challenge myself months ago. I’ve had an amazing time rehearsing & being a standby presenter for it this year.

Read more: Jeremy Paxman receiving treatment after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease

"I’ve loved working with the fab team who seem to love me & just narrated a UC documentary that’s going out on BBC2."

Jeremy Paxman grilling students on University Challenge (ITV Studios/BBC)
Jeremy Paxman grilling students on University Challenge (ITV Studios/BBC)

Ahmed added: "And I’ve loved helping set a few questions for this series too. But no one from the BBC has spoken to me yet about taking over.

"I’ve always been happy to go through an honest fair process and be judged on my merits."

She concluded by saying: "The production team & I hope the BBC know exactly why I would love to present UC and why I think I’m the right person.

"I also got the encouragement of the lovely Bamber Gascoigne who gave me his advice some years ago on what it needed. That’s what I wanted you all to know."

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 22: (EXCLUSIVE CONTENT) Samira Ahmed during the Brian Cox In Conversation Q&A at BFI & Radio Times Television Festival at BFI Southbank on May 22, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)
Fans want Samira Ahmed to be only the third host in the history of 'University Challenge'. (Getty Images)

Ahmed is best known for her work on BBC Radio Four where she presents Front Row and The World Tonight. She also previously presented Sunday Morning Live on BBC One between 2012 and 2013.

Ahmed also has past quizzing experience having one Celebrity Mastermind in 2010.

Jeremy Paxman hosting University Challenge. (PA)
Jeremy Paxman hosting University Challenge. (PA)

Paxman was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease last year and said in a statement: "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."

Other names linked to the job include Kirsty Wark who filled in for Paxman last year on a charity special and Sandi Toksvig who previously presented QI.

Watch below: Bamber Gaascoigne presents University Challenge in 1984