University challenge

Letters: why AI may be a force for good

Parris review Sir: Matthew Parris (‘Coutts, Farage and the trouble with choice’, 29 July) omitted to mention the initial, fundamental and obvious matter of the breach of client confidentiality committed by Dame Alison Rose, who he says should not have resigned. This is surely the gravest offence any bank official – let alone the head of NatWest – can commit. Yet he puts her resignation down to a ‘silly media storm’, which was actually started by the BBC, to whom the client information was given. Further, his article relates mostly to the discretion which institutions such as banks have in choosing who to admit. But this issue wasn’t about a client’s

University Challenge deserves Amol Rajan

I wish I could say that Bamber Gascoigne would be turning in his grave at what has happened to University Challenge. But unfortunately, I understand from people who knew the Eton, Cambridge, Yale and Grenadier Guards historian, playwright, critic, polymath millionaire and scion of the upper classes that he chose to compensate for his privilege by embracing progressive causes. So, chances are, the shade of Bamber is thrilled to bits at seeing his old quizmaster’s seat occupied by someone who drops his aitches and pronounces ‘h’ where it should be aspirated and landed a mere 2.2 from hearty, insufficiently medieval Downing. Bambi’s successor Jeremy Paxman probably isn’t too bothered either.

Jeremy Clarkson should be the next host of University Challenge

The bad news of the week is that Jeremy Paxman is retiring from University Challenge. The worse is that most of those lined up to succeed him are nothing like as good. University Challenge is a quiz show that JP has very much made his own: the curled lip, the incredulity at culpable ignorance, the reluctant admiration when a team really does know its stuff… it’s all part of the Paxman persona. At least on air it is: I do know one acquaintance of his who declares that for Jeremy Paxman to sparkle in private life, he really needs a camera permanently trained on him, to give the illusion that