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‘Only semi-present’ Jeremy Paxman criticised by University Challenge viewers

University Challenge: Jeremy Paxman refuses to read rules

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Jeremy Paxman welcomed teams from St Catharine’s Cambridge and University Oxford onto University Challenge on Monday night. The teams were battling it out for a place in the next round of the competition. It was a close game with only 10 points separating the colleges by the end of the episode. However, some viewers were left distracted by Jeremy’s hosting and took to social media to share their thoughts.

Several viewers criticised the University Challenge quizmaster, pointing out flaws with his hosting skills.

Some fans took to Twitter to hit out at the BBC broadcaster who has hosted the show for 27 years.

@lyoncomms commented: “Is it me, or is Jeremy Paxman only semi-present? #UniversityChallenge.”

“I dont think Paxman’s heart is in #universitychallenge anymore,” @amy_flanagandy wrote.

“Paxman really can’t be a**ed tonight #universitychallenge,” @cazzerbooth tweeted.

@PColin321 added: “#universitychallenge Bamber Gascoigne used to speed up exponentially towards the end of the programme, Jeremy Paxman gets slower.”

However, some viewers pointed out Jeremy’s slower presenting pace could be connected to his recent Parkinson’s disease diagnosis.

“Poor fella. He’s doing quite well, considering. He used to chuck the question cards after asking in past series, he doesn’t now. Maybe he has to pick them up,” @Dianne1963 commented.

Jeremy revealed in May he had been diagnosed with the incurable disease, which affects the brain and motion.

In a recent interview, he explained how he first noticed something wasn’t right with his health.

The University Challenge host admitted he knew something was wrong with him before he was diagnosed.

However, Jeremy pointed out it’s “very hard to know you’re not going to get better”.

“I kept falling over, I blamed the dog getting under my feet, but after the last time I went down, straight on my face, it was a real mess – black eyes, cuts and blood everywhere – and I thought, ‘This isn’t right’,” he told the Sunday Times Magazine.

Jeremy has been the University Challenge quiz master since the show was revived in 1994.

The programme was previously hosted by Bamber Gascoigne when it aired between 1962 and 1987.

Monday night’s episode of University Challenge ended with a very close score from the competing teams.

Jeremy told viewers: “At the gong University College Oxford have 120 and St Catharine’s College Cambridge have 130.

“Well, it was a closely fought game. University College you may come back on 120 points as one of the highest scoring losers.

St Catherine’s we shall definitely see you in round two,” he added, before congratulating the winners.

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

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