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Who is Amol Rajan as he becomes the new host of University...
Amol will follow in Jeremy’s footsteps later in 2023 (Picture: BBC)
Jeremy Paxman’s last episode of University Challenge has now aired – and the show will now be hosted by journalist Amol Rajan.
Jeremy, 73, first confirmed he would be stepping down from the role in August 2022 after nearly three decades at the helm.
The author and broadcaster was flooded with tributes following the news from the likes of Richard Osman, Bobby Seagull, and more.
Signing off for the last time in May 2023, Jeremy – who has Parkinson’s disease – told viewers that he was ‘looking forward to watching’ University Challenge at home.
When the show returns to TV screens, Amol will take the reins, saying last year upon being announced as the new host: ‘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.’
So, just who is Amol Rajan? And have you seen him on TV before?
Who is Amol Rajan and how old is he?Amol is the new face of University Challenge (Picture: John Phillips/Getty for Advertising Week)
Amol Rajan is a 39-year-old journalist and broadcaster.
Originally from Calcutta, India, he moved to London when he was three years old and was raised in Tooting in South West London.
Amol attended the Graveney School in Furzedown before reading English at Downing College, Cambridge.
When he was 18, Amol worked in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) during his gap year.
His career in journalism and broadcasting began in 2005 on The Wright Stuff as a secondary presenter and researcher.
He joined The Independent newspaper in 2007 – where he worked a number of roles, including News Reporter, Sports Correspondent, Columnist, Comment Editor, and Editor of Independent Voices.Amol worked a number of positions at The Independent, including editor, before leaving in 2016 (Picture: WireImage)
In 2013, when he was aged 29, Amol became the first non-white editor of a national newspaper in more than 100 years when he became the editor of The Independent.
In 2016, Amol left The Independent as he became BBC’s first Media Editor.
In the world of radio, Amol has presented The Big Debate on the BBC Asian Network as well as provided cover on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 4.
In 2021, he joined the presenting team of the Today programme on BBC Radio 4.
Amol has also appeared on TV previously as he has occasionally hosted The One Show.
What has Amol Rajan said about hosting University Challenge?
Amol described the opportunity to host University Challenge as ‘dream come true territory’ – admitting he’d watched the show ‘obsessively’ for years.Jeremy Paxman has been behind the University Challenge desk for 28 years (Picture: BBC)
He added: ‘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.’
Amol went on to share that he was ‘conscious’ of following in the footsteps of the late great Bamber Gascoigne, who died in February 2022, and Jeremy, who fronted the programme for 28 years.
Amol will step down from his role as the BBC’s media editor when he takes over the role, but will remain in place as the host of Radio 4’s Today Programme.
He also praised Jeremy saying he will have vast shoes to fill – and that he will dedicate his first Starter for 10 to the former presenter.
Amol will start to appear on screen from autumn 2023 onwards, the BBC has said.
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