‘Bully’ Paxman savages UCL student

University Challenge viewers outraged after shy third year medic left visibly shaken

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Tom Tysczuk Smith was visibly shaken after Paxman’s sneers

Viewers have attacked ‘rude’ Jeremy Paxman after he savaged a UCL student on University Challenge.

Third year medic Tom Tyszczuk Smith felt the full force of the presenter’s scornful tone when he got a question about William III wrong.

In response, Paxman sneered: “No! William I? No, I’m sorry that’s the wrong answer and you know it’s very wrong.

He added: “It’s only out by about 600 years or so. Anyway no, it’s William of Orange of course, William III.”

Tyszczuk Smith was visibly shaken, lowering his head and saying: “Sorry, sorry, no I’m sorry.” He remained quiet and withdrawn for the rest of the game.

Twitter users leapt to his defence, with one viewer writing: “Tyszczuk Smith looks like he’s on the verge of crying. Paxman you meany!”

‘Bully’.. Paxo couldn’t believe the mistake


One asked: “Why not just spit in his face, Paxman?”

But Tom’s mother defended Paxman. She told the Daily Mail: “I think Paxman is always a little tough with the contestants. But I think it is all in good spirit. It is a challenge after all.

“I don’t think he’s a bully. Tom wanted to do well and perhaps that showed more when he got things wrong rather than right.

“I met Mr Paxman and found him very pleasant. Tom’s very clever and we are very proud.

“He is a shy boy so I think at times he was a little uncomfortable, but that is just his way. He was very excited to take part and we think he did very well.”


UCL still won the tie, beating Bangor 190-125.