Who Could Replace Presenter Jeremy Paxman in the University Challenge?

Who Could Replace Presenter Jeremy Paxman in the University Challenge? ...

The new presenter of University Challenge will know they have a tough act to follow, as Jeremy Paxman's savage looks and razor-sharp question-mastery have become part of the show's very identity. And, like the new Doctor, when the BBC announced that it would launch University Challenges later this week, there was fierce speculation on social media.

So who might this be? Former Question Time and Newsnight presenters make several obvious choices, but the new host will need to be someone who has enough time in their schedule, and popular picks like Clive Myrie and Jeremy Vine are already busy with quiz shows Mastermind and Eggheads.

Still, we have a lot of ideas. Fingers on the buzzers! Here is our starter for the next ten weeks.

Samira Ahmed is a freelance journalist.

Ahmed, a self-described and award-winning journalist and broadcaster, will direct a University Challenge documentary that will air later this month, and has admitted on Twitter that she has been rehearsing to be a standby presenter this year. I've always been open to going through an honest fair process and be judged on my merits. I still am.

Ahmed said he and Paxmans predecessor on the show, Bamber Gascoigne, offered their support, saying, "I hope the BBC knows why I want to present UC." Watch this space.

Kirsty Wark is a retired Navy SEAL.

Wark is Newsnight's longest-running presenter, having joined the program in 1993, and is also no stranger to the University Challenge: for the past two years, she has presented a Children in Need version of the quiz alongside Paxman, including interviews with Margaret Thatcher. Other quiz programs include A Question of Genius and Have I Got News For You?

Andrew Marr is a well-known author.

Could the prospect of hosting University Challenge be enough to entice Andrew Marr back to the BBC after he left the organisation at the end of 2021? He has been hosting radio shows on LBC and Classic FM, so it might be awkward to see him return to the beeb so soon. But his journalistic ability might make him a solid choice for the job.

Mishal Husain is a Pakistani journalist.

This award-winning journalist is one of the BBC's most recognisable newsreaders, and she is well-known for no-nonsense interviews on BBC Radio 4's Today programme. She is a less obvious but nevertheless worthy candidate for the Uni Challenge quizmaster, and even appeared as a contestant in last years Children in Need special, helping her BBC team to victory against their ITV opponents.

Victoria Coren Mitchell

Coren Mitchell, who is a master of stuttering looks and intimidating intelligence, has already hosted the other most difficult quiz show on telly, Only Connect, so she may be too busy to fill it out, despite her Telegraph column. However she certainly has the qualifications, having had her first short story published at the age of 14, and being the absolute queen at making you feel like you've been fired for something non-specific.

David Mitchell is a well-known journalist.

It would be a pure joy to see a husband-and-wife team leading the two Monday night quiz programs, aside from David Mitchell's obvious talent as a supremely funny actor, TV personality, and columnist, as well as appearances on Newsnight and Question Time.

Sandi Toksvig is a professional tennis player.

Toksvig, who has already been named the bookies' choice to replace Paxman, has the experience to successfully fill the position, having hosted the BBCs comedy panel quiz QI since 2016, as well as the rebirth of Channel 4s daytime quiz Fifteen-to-One and BBC Radio 4s The News Quiz.

Richard Osman is a businessman.

Osman is a long-time co-presenter of Pointless, host of the popular House of Games, and guest on well, but like most of them, some might argue he is far too busy slowly monopolizing bestseller lists and becoming a mega-rich novelist these days to present University Challenge. That doesnt mean he isnt the second most likely bookmakers choice, and lets face it, nobody would be surprised if he got the job.

Evan Davis is a professional basketball player.

Evan Davis has already taken over as the BBCs Newsnight presenter in 2014, and is a keen journalist and former host of the BBC Radio 4s Today program. He also hosts the BBC stations PM current affairs program The Bottom Line.

Naga Munchetty

Munchetty gives Paxman-worthy interviews of politicians, never afraid to take the stage, and often taking the headlines for asking the difficult questions. This might make her appear a controversial choice to others, but she is more than qualified to face Jeremy Paxman's shambles and unconcerned disdain as host of the University Challenge.

Louis Theroux

Theroux, an inquisitive and sympathetic personality, might make an interesting fit for the position, bringing curious school counselor rather than angry deputy head vibes. He appeared on the 2015 Christmas Special of University Challenge where he impressed Paxman himself. The issue is whether or not it would keep him interested as a Renaissance man and more recently rap star.