University Challenge presenter Jeremy Paxman is stepping down from the show after 28 years, ending his reign as the longest-serving current quizmaster on UK TV.
Journalist and broadcaster Amol Rajan will take over as host from autumn 2023.
Paxman, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease last year, has presented the show since it was revived by the BBC in 1994.
He will film his last episode this autumn and his final series will air on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer from Monday August 29 through to summer 2023.
He said: “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.”
Speaking about taking over the position, 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.
“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.”
Kate Phillips, BBC’s director of unscripted, says: “Since the BBC revived University Challenge in 1994 Jeremy has been at the front and centre of the show’s success and is without doubt one of the world’s finest, and most formidable quizmasters.
“We are hugely grateful to Jeremy for his dedication to the programme for an incredible 28 years, he will be much missed by us all and the show’s millions of viewers.”
This year, University Challenge celebrates 60 years of being Britain’s longest running quiz show. A special documentary will air on BBC Two and iPlayer on Monday August 29 at 9pm.