New University Challenge host revealed as Amol Rajan after Jeremy Paxman stepped down

Journalist and broadcaster Amol Rajan is to takeover as host of University Challenge.

It comes after Jeremy Paxman stepped down as presenter earlier this week after 28 years at the helm.

The upcoming series will be Paxman’s last before Rajan takesover from autumn 2023.

University Challenge

Rajan has been the BBC’s Media Editor since December 2016 and a presenter of the BBC Radio 4 Today programme since May 2021. He has also presented on BBC Radio 2 and The One Show, and was previously editor of The Independent newspaper.

Rajan 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.

“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!”