University Challenge fans outraged as Jeremy Paxman makes big change to show

By Katie Wilson

University Challenge fans were left outraged after Jeremy Paxman shook up the show’s usual format.

Monday night’s episode saw students from Imperial College London go head-to-head with St John’s College in Cambridge.

But minutes into the programme, Jeremy, who has hosted the show since 1994, decided to shake things up a bit.

Introducing the show, the TV veteran began, “Now, there are two institutions, both of them previous winners of this competition.”

He then allowed the teams to introduce themselves before declaring: “Right, let’s not bother reciting the rules anymore. Let’s just get on with it.

“Fingers on the buzzers. Here is your first set of 10.”

Fans quickly took to social media to share their thoughts on the 71-year-old’s disregard for the rules.

One Twitter user wrote: “Do we think Jeremy Paxman doesn’t actually know the rules ‘let’s get on with it’.”

Another said: “Paxman: Let’s not bother reciting the rules anymore.”

But Jeremy didn’t stop there – he also changed his usual sign off from the BBC show, which angered fans even more.

The presenter ended the programme by saying: “It's a goodbye from St John's College Cambridge, it's a goodbye from Imperial College London and it's a goodbye from me.”

This second deviation from the norm appeared to send some fans into a Twitter meltdown.

One said: “Why didn't Paxman say 'And it's goodbye from me. Goodbye'? The world is ending.”

Another wrote: “Seriously what the fork that’s the 2nd time Jeremy Paxman did his sign off wrong on #UniversityChallenge and it’s literally our fave part. Please don’t let it happen again.”

While a third commented: “Is it me, or does #Paxman look/sound as though he really doesn't want to be there anymore?”

Jeremy recently revealed he has been diagnosed with Parkinson's (Getty)

Paxman has hosted the show since 1994. Before that the long-running programme was fronted by quizmaster Bamber Gasgoine from 1962 to 1987.

Broadcasting legend Paxman revealed in May this year that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

His symptoms are currently mild and he said he is receiving “excellent treatment”.

In a recent column for Saga magazine, the veteran TV presenter wrote: “I recall that by my age, most of my ancestors – a long line of illiterate peasants on both sides, were dead. I’ve been let off lightly with Parkinson’s.”

Parkinson's disease is a condition which affects the brain. Symptoms can include tremors, slow movements and stiffness.

Earlier this year, Jeremy revealed he’d suffered a nasty fall while out walking his beloved dog, Derek, but had “no recollection” of taking the tumble.

“I blacked out beforehand or did so when my nose hit the ground...there was certainly a lot of blood afterwards.”

He joked he blamed it all on Derek, adding he had only been to A&E three times in his life before the fall.

Despite his diagnosis, which affects 1 in 500 people, Jeremy has vowed to continue working in broadcasting and writing “as long as they’ll have me.”

University Challenge airs Mondays at 8:30pm on BBC Two.

Do you have a story to sell? Get in touch with us at or call us direct 0207 29 33033.

What is inkl?

Important stories

See news based on value, not advertising potential. Get the latest news from around the world.

Trusted newsrooms

We bring you reliable news from the world’s most experienced journalists in the most trusted newsrooms.

Ad-free reading

Read without interruptions, distractions or intrusions of privacy.