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University Challenge viewers share their grief as Jeremy Paxman begins his final series

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“It won’t be the same without Paxo!” University Challenge viewers praise Jeremy Paxman as he embarks on his final series of the BBC quiz show after nearly 30 years at the helm

  • Jeremy Paxman kicked off his latest series as University Challenge host
  • The 72-year-old will resign at the end of this season
  • Paxman was business as usual when he introduced the first participating universities

Jeremy Paxman kicked off his final series as host of University Challenge last night.

The British 72-year-old will resign from his role as presenter after nearly three decades at the end of this season and will hand over to Amol Rajan.

Paxman was business as usual when he introduced the first of 28 universities participating in the 2022 to 2023 series.

Bristol and Durham were featured in the first episode, with the latter claiming victory with just seconds to spare, triggering a ‘You like to live dangerously’ quip from Paxman.

Viewers rushed to Twitter after the episode to express their sadness at Paxman’s departure, with one writing, “Oh, it will be so sad to hear Paxo’s name for the last time at the end of this series.”

Jeremy Paxman kicked off his final series hosting University Challenge last night (pictured)

Viewers rushed to Twitter after the episode to express their sadness at Paxman's departure, with one writing,

Viewers rushed to Twitter after the episode to express their sadness at Paxman’s departure, with one writing, “Oh, it will be so sad to hear Paxo’s name for the last time at the end of this series.”

How many Starter For Ten questions can you answer?

1. Which five letter word can precede the words slate, fresh, and appearance?

2. With what Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene confused the term Gestapo in early 2022 in an attempted attack on US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi?

3. Which two-word hyphenated term precedes stopper in its first OED citation, dated 1897, and plastics in its most recent, dated 2019.

4. You see a diagram with the reactions of industrial chemical processes. For 10 points, give the name of that process.

5. Intense non-repeating flashes, known as GRBs, get their name from what form of high energy?

6. In 1962, Robert Bresson made a film about which historical figure in direct response to what he called the “grotesque jesting” of a silent film directed by Carl Theodore Dreyer?

7. Prominent geographic features of which African country include sand seas such as the Great Western Erg and the Great Eastern Erg?

8. In the names of fictional establishments, what short word follows Bellamy’s in Evelyn Waugh’s Sword of Honor trilogy and Junior Ganymede and Drones in the Jeeves and Wooster books?

9. What does Charlie’s letter C stand for in materials science in the abbreviation CA, CAB, CN, and CP?

10. Which country has named one of its two native land mammals as bird of the year in 2021?

Another said: ’37 weeks is a long lap of honor, but Jeremy Paxman deserved it. He is a brilliant host (for TWENTY NINE YEARS) of University Challenge. Big shoes to fill.’

A third wrote, “I’ll miss Jeremy after this series,” while another viewer on Twitter said, “Calm down now, for Jeremy’s final series on University Challenge.”

A fifth added: ‘We have at least 37 episodes of Jeremy Paxman before he leaves! Won’t be the same without him!’

Paxman opened the series by saying, “Tonight begins the 2022-2023 University Challenge. This year, 121 institutions have applied, of which the best 28 have been invited to compete for the series title.’

Response: University Challenge viewers shared their grief on Twitter over Paxman's latest series

Response: University Challenge viewers shared their grief on Twitter over Paxman’s latest series

The presenter, who became quizmaster in 1994, introduced the participants and briefly recalled the rules.

Paxman, the longest-serving quizmaster on British TV, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease last year and will be filming his final episode of the show this fall and his final series will air on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer until summer 2023.

The journalist and announcer said: ‘I have enjoyed hosting this wonderful series for almost 29 years. I’ve been lucky enough to work with a great team and meet some of the smarter brains in the country. It gives me hope for the future.’

In June 2014, Paxman left the BBC current affairs program Newsnight after 25 years as a presenter.

Paxman (pictured) was business as usual when he introduced the first of 28 universities participating in the 2022 to 2023 series

Paxman (pictured) was business as usual when he introduced the first of 28 universities participating in the 2022 to 2023 series

Bristol and Durham (pictured) were featured in the first episode, with the latter claiming victory with just seconds to spare, sparking a 'You like to live dangerously' quip from Paxman

Bristol and Durham (pictured) were featured in the first episode, with the latter claiming victory with just seconds to spare, sparking a ‘You like to live dangerously’ quip from Paxman

Last May, he revealed that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He said his doctor had him tested for the incurable condition after seeing him at University Challenge during lockdown.

The veteran presenter said he fell regularly, including one that left him with ‘black eyes’, and admitted it was ‘very hard to know you won’t get better’.

Kate Phillips, the BBC’s director of unscripted, said: ‘Since the BBC revived the University Challenge in 1994, Jeremy has been at the center of the show’s success and is without doubt one of the world’s best and most formidable quizmasters. .

The broadcaster became the face of the revived University Challenge as it returned after a hiatus (pictured)

The broadcaster became the face of the revived University Challenge as it returned after a hiatus (pictured)

Check your answers now!

1. Empty

2. Gazpacho

3. For single use

4. The Contact Process

5. Gamma Ray Burst

6. Joan of Arc

7. Algeria

8. Club

9. Cellulose

10. New Zealand

“We are extremely grateful to Jeremy for his dedication to the program over an incredible 28 years, he will be sorely missed by all of us and the show’s millions of viewers.”

University Challenge executive producer Peter Gwyn said: “Jeremy has been our host, colleague and friend for 28 years, and everyone on the University Challenge production team will miss him greatly.

“He will also be sorely missed by both our audience and the generations of students who have enjoyed the chance to take on him in over a thousand games.”

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