Jeremy Paxman has become well known on University Challenge for his withering put downs, exasperated looks and impatience with the nation’s student brains during the almost three decades that he presented the BBC quiz show.

Here are some of the former Newsnight presenter’s most memorable tussles with the contestants:

– Boris Johnson

The future prime minister, 58, appeared on the show in 1999 as team captain of the Broadsheets – who lost to team Tabloids.

Footage shows Paxman giving Mr Johnson a light telling off at the end of his appearance after the future premier celebrated winning the last question by punching the air.

Paxman said: “I don’t know why you were gesticulating, you were very soundly trounced I thought.”

– Eric Monkman

Eric Monkman
Eric Monkman made his mark on University Challenge (BBC Radio 4/PA)

In 2017, Paxman dismissed flustered Cambridge scholar Monkman for fumbling his answer.

The 73-year-old host began asking the teams: “Traditionally regarded as a holy relic, the Iron Crown of Lombardy is housed…”

Monkman, of Wolfson College, buzzed and interrupted saying: “It’s housed in Italy somewhere” before tailing off and apologising.

“I mean it’s the one they used to crown the king of Italy,” he added.

An unimpressed Paxman retorted: “I’m afraid that is a completely useless answer.”

– Ralph Morley

The exchange with the contestant from Trinity College, Cambridge began with Paxman asking: “During the 20th century, who held the position of prime minister of the United Kingdom for the…”

Morley interrupted and buzzed in with the answer “Margaret Thatcher”.

Paxman was left dumbfounded and asked how the team captain could have known he was going to ask “for the longest period of time”.

Morley retorted: “Well what else was it going to be?”

Paxman said: “Okay, let’s see if you can get these bonuses right. They’re on French land borders, you smart arses.”

After Cambridge proceeded to get an answer wrong, Paxman said: “Not all so easy are they?”

– David Copperfield

A team of Glasgow University students were at a loss when questions about Charles Dickens novels appeared and decided to give the answer “David Copperfield” to every question.

Paxman said: “I don’t think this tactic is going to bear fruit.”

After responding to their third question with the same answer, a disgruntled Paxman exclaimed: “No, it’s Little Dorrit, everybody knows that!”