Fans have taken to Twitter to pay tribute to Jeremy Paxman after he presented his final episode of University Challenge tonight – with one calling him a ‘legend’.
The veteran broadcaster, who has hosted the show since it was revived by the BBC in 1994, announced he was stepping down a year ago after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
His run on University Challenge, which has seen him become the longest-serving current quizmaster on British TV, won him approval thanks to his disapproving looks and combative style which many fans enjoyed.
Presenting the programme for the final time, Jeremy revealed he was looking ‘forward to watching it’ along with fans at home, before closing out his stint by saying: ‘So it’s goodnight from me.’
Among the many fans who took to Twitter to mark the presenter’s final episode of the programme, one wrote: ‘ Farewell to Jeremy Paxman – legend.’
Jeremy Paxman presented his final episode of University Challenge tonight after hosting the programme since the mid 90s
The veteran broadcaster has overseen the programme for many years, and hosted many teams (pictured L-R: Decca Aitkenhead (The Guardian), Libby Purves (The Times), Boris Johnson (The Telegraph) and Richard Ingrams (The Observer).)
Another added: ‘ And it’s goodbye from him….the very last with the inimitable Jeremy Paxman. I’ve loved every minute and must say thanks Jeremy ……xxx.’
A third took to the social media to add: ‘I loved todays grand final of university challenge thank you for being a brilliant host and quizmaster.’
Meanwhile, another praised his elegant sign-off, writing: ‘ A delightfully understated and humble little farewell from Jeremy Paxmannas he retired from University Challenge tonight. 1994 to 2023 is a pretty respectable run. Thanks for it all Jeremy.’
A further Twitter user agreed, adding: ‘What an elegant no nonsense farewell to University Challenge byJeremy Paxman. He’ll probably snort but I found it rather moving.’
Signing off, he said: ‘It remains for me to thank Jung Chang for presenting the trophy, all the teams who have entertained us over the past months, and you for watching.
‘University Challenge returns later in the year and I look forward to watching it with you. So it’s good night for me. Good night.’
Opening the quiz, the veteran presenter told the two teams: ‘Well you’re all old hands at this now, so just get on with it.’
In the final episode, Durham University became the 2022-2023 University Challenge champions and received rapturous applause as Wild Swans: Three Daughters Of China author Jung Chang handed over a stainless steel book award to the winners.
Fans took to Twitter to pay tribute to the veteran host, with many saying they had throughly enjoyed his work
Durham beat Bristol by 155 to 120 with Paxman telling the latter it’s ‘absolutely fine’ to become the runners-up and ‘go out in the final’ after the teams were asked about science fiction, proteins, a picture round featuring scenes of historical battles, composers and literary criticism.
The episode capped a long and illustrious career for the broadcaster, working for numerous programmes.
Born in Leeds, Jeremy started his career in 1972 on the BBC’s graduate trainee programme, working in local radio and reporting on the Troubles in Belfast.
Shortly after moving to London in 1977, he transferred from Tonight to investigative flagship programme Panorama, before stints on the Six O’Clock News and BBC One’s Breakfast Time.
He became a presenter of Newsnight in 1989, a position he would hold until June 2014, during which he interviewed high-profile figures from politics and culture.
Journalist and broadcaster Amol Rajan (pictured) will now take the reins, becoming the third host of the programme in it’s 60-year history
Bowing out after 25 years, Mr Paxman presented a Newsnight programme including an interview with then-London mayor Boris Johnson, while they both rode a tandem bicycle.
He announced in May 2021 he was being treated for Parkinson’s but said his symptoms were ‘currently mild’.
Mr Paxman received his diagnosis while he was in hospital after collapsing during a dog walk. He said he suffered regular falls, including one that left him with ‘black eyes’ and admitted it was ‘very hard to know you’re not going to get better’.
His medical team claimed he was less ‘exuberant’ on the quiz and one of the doctors said he had noticed that Mr Paxman’s face had acquired a ‘Parkinson’s mask’.
Journalist and broadcaster Amol Rajan will now take the reins, becoming the third host of the programme in its 60-year history, after Bamber Gascoigne first launched the quiz in 1962.