Wednesday 18 October 2017

Not as smart as they seem? Jeremy Paxman dishes secret about University Challenge contestants

Jeremy Paxman has revealed a big University Challenge secret
Jeremy Paxman has revealed a big University Challenge secret
Daire Courtney

Daire Courtney

If you’ve ever balked at just how much University Challenge contestants seem to know, you’re in for a fun surprise as host Jeremy Paxman admits that long strings of unanswered questions are edited out of the quiz show.

University Challenge questions are notoriously difficult and we can all admit how unnerving it is to watch students rattle off capitals, composers and chemical compounds while we try to remember what the noble gases are.

As it turns out, it isn’t that they have all the answers – it’s just that long strings of starter questions that the contestants fail to answer are edited out of the show, according to Jeremy Paxman.

Speaking at Henley Literary Festival, he said “If we get a run of questions, it doesn't happen very often, say one show in seven or eight or 10 or something, you might get a run of unanswered starter questions, they all get edited out.”

According to the Express, he said the reasoning for the edits was that “as a taxpayer you do not want to think your money is being wasted.”

Responding to Mr Paxman’s comments, a BBC spokesperson said " Viewers should not be in any doubt that University Challenge Contestants are the cream of the TV quiz crop - if minor edits are made they always accurately and fairly represent each team's performance.”

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