BBC’s University Challenge slammed for dropping the traditional ‘AD’ in favour of the politically correct CE – or Common Era – from a question about Christianity
- Jeremy Paxman used CE instead of AD on Christmas episode of BBC programme
- Critics called the show’s decision ‘complete nonsense, especially on Christmas’
- BBC spokesman offered no explanation why it had opted for CE in this question
Under fire: Host Jeremy Paxman used the term CE instead of AD
The BBC quiz show University Challenge has been criticised for dropping the traditional Christian term Anno Domini or AD from a question about Christianity.
Critics described the programme’s decision to use the politically correct term CE (Common Era) over AD as ‘complete nonsense’ – especially in its Christmas edition.
The edition, shown last Thursday, featured celebrities representing Peterhouse, Cambridge, against the LSE for a place in the final.
They included former Tory leader Michael Howard, the screenwriter Dan Mazer and Mark Horton, a presenter on the BBC’s Coast series.
Towards the end of the show, Jeremy Paxman asked the two teams: ‘In about 300 CE which country in the Caucasus region became the first to adopt Christianity as a state religion?’
The correct answer, which was given by Horton, was Armenia.
The terms Common Era and Before Common are championed by those who believe the traditional terms AD and BC are insulting to people from a non-Christian background.
Paxman (pictured in a separate episode on Christmas Eve) asked both teams: ‘In about 300 CE which country in the Caucasus region became the first to adopt Christianity as a state religion?’
But Church leaders and politicians last night criticised the use of the replacement terms.
Ann Widdecombe, the former Tory MP and devout Catholic, said: ‘The term CE or Common Era is complete nonsense and isn’t even politically correct. If you use the term Common Era you are still referring to the era when Christianity began.’
A BBC spokesman said last night that University Challenge continued to use the traditional terms of BC and AD and offered no explanation why it had opted for CE in this question.