University Challenge questions set to get harder as new presenter Amol Rajan takes over from Jeremy Paxman
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University Challenge is set to return to our screens this summer, with BBC having now shared a first look at what viewers can expect from the latest season. 2023 marks the long-running show’s 61st year on our screens, with its questioning for the new season slated to be its hardest yet.
The quiz show, which sees university students from up and down the country tested on knowledge, first aired in 1962. Over the years, its line of questioning has delved deeper into topics across science, history and geography, asking contestants to break down specific events, theories and practices.
Six decades on, BBC has hinted the questions are set to get trickier for its student competitors. Teasing the new series with Amol Rajan in the presenting seat for the first time, BBC commissioning editor for entertainment and comedy, Pinki Chambers, said: "The competition is fierce, the questions are harder."
Executive producer Peter Gwyn told the Telegraph in a 2020 interview that each series is "deliberately" made "slightly more difficult every time." Gwyn added that over the course of the show, he has noticed that "contestants’ range of knowledge has really broadened."
One of the hardest questions to have featured on the show was posed to contestants on the series in 2018. At the time, the question based on Pascal’s Triangle was dubbed the ‘hardest question ever’ to have been included in the show’s gruelling questioning.
The particular question was: "If 1,1 is the second row of Pascal’s Triangle, what is the seventh row?" Its answer is: "1, 6. 15, 20, 15, 6, 1."
Last year, viewers also slammed some of the show’s questions after a new flag round was introduced. The picture round saw contestants quizzed about tricolour flags.