Jeremy Paxman has announced that he is stepping down as host of the University Challenge after 28 years.

According to the BBC, new presenters for the program, which pits four students against rival universities and colleges, will be announced later this week.

Let’s take a look at the runners and riders who might replace him in the presenter’s chair.

– Sandy Toksvig


Sandy Toksvig (Ian West/PA)

The 64-year-old Danish-born broadcaster and comedian is a prime candidate to step into Paxman’s shoes, according to bookmaker Ladbrokes, which offers odds of 2/1.

Toksvig has extensive experience hosting quiz shows after fronting QI since 2016 and has become a fan favorite hosting the Great British Bake Off alongside Noel Fielding.

– Richard Osman


Richard Osman (Matt Crosic/PA)

In April, Osman announced he was leaving BBC One’s game show Pointless for nearly 13 years to spend more time writing novels, but his departure also meant he would succeed Paxman. Become.

In response to the news of Paxman’s departure, the 51-year-old tweeted: “Two hosts in 50 years. I introduced it.”

Osman could be the third host after Bamber Gascoigne and Paxman, with Ladbrokes offering odds of 3/1.

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– Samira Ahmed


Samira Ahmed (David Parry/PA)

BBC journalist and broadcaster Ahmed has worked PM for Radio 4, The World Tonight and Front Row, but fronting the University Challenge is his most high-profile role to date.

The 54-year-old revealed on Twitter that she approached the program “a few months ago” and was drafted as a “standby presenter.”

Ahmed adds: I also love setting up some questions for this series.

“But no one at the BBC has spoken to me about taking over.

Writer Sir Philip Pullman expressed her support, tweeting: I am all for it.

– Warwick Davis


Warwick Davis (Ian West/PA)

The actor, best known for his roles in the Star Wars and Harry Potter film series, was given odds of 6/1 by Ladbrokes to take over as presenter of the University Challenge.

The 52-year-old has experience in the hosting chair, having featured on ITV’s game shows Celebrity Squares and Tenable, and as a guest host on Have I Got News For You.

– Richard Ayoade


Richard Ayoade (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Ladbrokes is offering 8/1 odds for actor, comedian and presenter Ayoade.

The 45-year-old has proven to be a popular choice to host the Bafta TV Awards since 2020, fronting Channel 4’s revived Crystal Maze series.

– Giles Brandless


Giles Brandless (David Davis/PA)

As a broadcaster, author and former politician, Brandreth has the breadth of knowledge required to host shows such as the University Challenge.

Ladbrokes is proposing to win the 8/1 office at odds of 74.

– Fiona Bruce

Bruce is a favorite of bookmaker Betfair, claiming the role at odds of 2/1.

The 58-year-old journalist joined the BBC in 1989 as a Panorama researcher and in the next 14 years became the first female newsreader for the BBC’s flagship News at Ten.

She currently does Question Time and Antiques Roadshow, so you may have trouble finding time in your schedule.

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