Journalist and broadcaster Amol Rajan will take over from Jeremy Paxman as host of University Challenge from autumn 2023, the BBC has said.
Rajan (39) takes over from Paxman, who is stepping down as host of the TV quiz show after 28 years, ending his reign as the longest-serving current quizmaster on UK TV.
Rajan has been the BBC’s media editor since December 2016 and a presenter on BBC Radio 4’s 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 [Gascoigne], 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.
📢 Amol Rajan announced as new University Challenge host
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— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) August 18, 2022
“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.”
Rajan, who will step down as media editor at BBC News later in the year, will begin filming early next year and be seen on screen from autumn 2023.
The BBC’s 2021/22 annual report showed Rajan was on a salary of £325,000 (€385,000) and is expected to be paid more as the host of University Challenge.
He will continue to be a presenter on the Today programme and will also continue the Amol Rajan Interviews show.
This year University Challenge celebrates 60 years.