BBC apologises after Jeremy Paxman gives wrong answer on University Challenge

Paxman incorrectly told Clare College that a piece of music was by Dvorak

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The Independent Culture

The BBC has apologised after Jeremy Paxman gave the wrong answer to a question on University Challenge.

A team from Cambridge University’s Clare College was asked to name the Czech composer to an excerpt of music played on Monday night’s show.

The team wrongly guessed Smetana, but host Paxman told them the correct answer was Dvorak.

Experts later pointed out the clip was a form of medieval church music called a Gregorian plainchant, and not the work of Dvorak.

Helen Garrison, a senior producer for Radio 3, tweeted: “Appalled at the ignorance of question on #universitychallenge”.

Bethan Thomas, a soprano, also tweeted: “University challenge playing requiem excerpts asking for the composer. The 'Dvorak' excerpt was literally the requiem plainchant....”

Despite the error, Clare College went on to beat Christ Church, Oxford, in a tie-break to claim its place in the University Challenge quarter finals.

A BBC spokeswoman said: “On this week's programme we played an excerpt from Dvorak's Requiem.

"We used several music sources which indicated that the entire piece was under Dvorak's name.

"However we were wrong in this instance and the excerpt we played from this requiem was not composed by Dvorak himself.

"We apologise to both teams and viewers and are grateful to those who pointed this out.

"Fortunately this error has not changed the outcome of the programme.”