For 28 years, Jeremy Paxman has served as the spokesperson for the BBC’s University Challenge. But just over a year after he said he had been diagnosed with incurable cancer that will gradually weaken his brain and movements, the host was confirmed to be leaving the position he’s held since 1994.
At the time of his diagnosis, Jeremy, then 72, stated his intention to go on producing the BBC quiz show despite having Parkinson’s disease. Jeremey said he felt “let off” receiving the sickness because many of his forebears were already deceased by the time he was diagnosed with the degenerative disorder, which affects one in 500 people.
Paxman joked that for years, he had been attributing his conservative “wet Tory” ideas to going “gaga,” reflecting on his life-altering disease with an odd viewpoint. Last year, Jeremy Paxman received a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis.
I Won’t Be Adding Any Further Commentary.
“I’ve had a blast hosting this amazing series for nearly 29 years,” he stated in a statement on August 16 after declaring his departure from University Challenge. I’ve had the good fortune to work with a fantastic team and get to know some of the smartest people in the nation.
“The summit of quiz night”
Bobby Seagull, a former University Challenge competitor, expressed regret at the passing of “the great and fearsome Jeremy Paxman” on BBC Radio 4’s World At One.
Seagull declared, “He has suddenly turned into an institution.” Every Monday night, we host a popular quiz show. Paxman has served as the focal point of University Challenge since 1994, which is the peak of the quiz night.
Despite his greatness, Paxman is replaceable, and math teacher Seagull believes that either Wark or the author and former host of Pointless, Richard Osman, might be candidates to lead the quiz moving forward.
“One of The Best Quizmasters in The World”
“Jeremy has been our presenter, colleague, and friend for 28 years, and everyone on the University Challenge production team will miss him immensely,” University Challenge executive producer Peter Gwyn stated. Both our audience and the generations of students who have enjoyed the opportunity to compete against him in more than 1,000 bouts will sadly miss him.
Paxman was “without a doubt one of the world’s finest, and most fearsome quizmasters,” according to Kate Phillips, director of unscripted at the BBC, and has been “at the front and centre of the show’s popularity.” She continued, “Jeremy’s dedication to the programme for an astonishing 28 years is greatly appreciated, and he will be sorely missed by all of us and the millions of viewers of the show.
Beginning for Ten
ITV announced a documentary earlier this month in which Paxman would discuss his diagnosis and research the illness, including by going to a treatment dance class with the English National Ballet and seeing a brain dissection. On August 29, BBC Two will air a documentary honouring University Challenge’s 60th anniversary.
Teams of college students compete against one another in this programme using questions like the infamous “starter for 10,” which introduces a first question worth 10 points. That statement served as the title of a 2003 David Nicholls book about a young man’s aspirations to go on the show. In 2006, James McAvoy and Benedict Cumberbatch starred in the film adaptation of the book.
During their undergraduate years, celebrities including Stephen Fry, Clive James, Miriam Margolyes, and Julian Fellowes participated in University Challenge.