University Challenge celebrity special line up as BBC and ITV go head to head for Children in Need

University Challenge special air date and contestants

Stars from BBC and ITV will go head to head for a BBC Children in Need University Challenge Special.

Jeremy Paxman will hand over the reins to journalist and broadcaster Kirsty Wark for the one-off as famous faces from ITV and BBC compete against each other.

The special will air as part of Children In Need’s annual telethon on Friday, 19 November at 10PM on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer.

Rick Edwards will lead Team BBC and will be helped by fellow celebrity team mates Radio 4’s Mishal Husain, Mock the Week Comedian Angela Barnes and impressionist Jon Culshaw from Radio 4’s Dead Ringers.

Rick Edwards, Team BBC Captain said: “I’ve subjected myself to a University Challenge appearance before and been humiliated, not to mention patronised by Paxman, but I am a very firm believer in facing your fears.

“Obviously I’m relieved that Kirsty was in the chair this time because she was a bit gentler!”

Meanwhile, team ITV will be led by Broadcaster and Journalist Kaye Adams and consist of celebrity guests Dr Ranj Singh, comedian Russell Kane and Loose Women’s Denise Welch.

Kaye Adams, Team ITV Captain added: “Being on team ITV and going head to head with the Beeb was surreal but a good laugh.

“Obviously we all know it’s for a brilliant cause, but I would be lying if I said that reined in anyone’s competitive spirit!”

Both teams will be giving it their all for BBC Children in Need, but who will emerge victorious in this star-studded battle of the brains?

The special will air later this year as part of BBC Children in Need fundraising appeal. You can donate via