University Challenge announcer unphased by challenging contestant surname

Host Amol Rajan hailed the BBC quiz show's voiceover artist as 'Mighty Roger' revealing he needed no retakes to call out the seven-syllable name.

Watch: University Challenge announcer effortlessly calls out surname with seven syllables

What did you miss?

University Challenge announcer Roger Tiling faced a challenge of his own when the show welcomed a contestant with a very long surname.

Series host Amol Rajan hailed the BBC quiz show's voiceover artist as "the best voice in the business" for calling out the name "flawlessly" and revealing he didn't need any retakes.

And after more praise from viewers on social media the voice of University Challenge revealed it is not even the longest surname he has had to contend with.

What, how, and why?

University Challenge host Amol Rajan
University Challenge host Amol Rajan hailed announcer Roger Tilling for his dextrous pronunciation. (ITV Studios/BBC) (BBC/Lifted Entertainment, Part of ITV Studios/Ric Lowe)

The latest round of acclaimed student quiz show University Challenge — now in its 53rd series — saw Warwick University take on Wolfson College, Cambridge.

On the Warwick team was student Abby Akarapongpiskadi, originally from Bankok, Thailand, who is studying an MA in Film Studies.

The 16-letter name contains seven syllables, and every time Akarapongpiskadi was first to buzz in on a question, announcer tilling had to call out "Warwick" followed by his name as quickly as possible, to indicate that they had won the chance to answer for their team.

Roger Tilling, the voiceover host of University Challenge, has been praised for his work on a recent episode which featured a Thai contestant with the surname Akarapongpisakdi.
University Challenge announcer Roger Tilling has been praised for his work on a recent episode which featured a contestant with the surname Akarapongpisakdi. (BBC) (BBC/University Challenge)

Ahead of the show Tilling posted on social media platform X, formerly Twitter: "This is definitely going to be fun @amolrajan - two wonderful teams and there's a surname placard that's making me nervous just looking at it!!"

And hejoked: "This is a wonderful, beautiful Thai surname. But just bear with me while I go off and have a quick cry…"

Rajan shared: "Tune into @bbctwo/ @bbciplayer NOW... if only to watch the best voice in the business - @rogertilling - bellow "AKARAPONGPISAKDI" flawlessly under high and escalating pressure.

"Spoiler alert. He nails it every time. No retakes with the Mighty Roger."

When one social media user mused whether this was the longest ever surname to feature on University Challenge, Tilling revealed: "Almost. Rubio-Gorrochategui was the longest!"

What else has been happening on University Challenge?

Jeremy Paxman grilling students on University Challenge (ITV Studios/BBC)
Former host Jeremy Paxman reading the old question cards on University Challenge (ITV Studios/BBC) (BBC / ITV Studios / Joseph Scanlon)

Rajan took over as the host of the BBC quiz show this years after Jeremy Paxman retired aged 73, having been in the quizmaster's seat for 30 years

When the series launched in July 2023 Rajan, 40, made his debut at the host's desk without the familiar question cards Paxman had always used - and famously threw down in frustration when contestants got the answers wrong.

Instead the journalist reads the questions from a large boxed screen on the desk in front of him.

Fans of the show were quick to point out how much they missed the old cards.

The latest series of University Challenge is currently airing on BBC Two and iPLayer at 8.30pm on Mondays.

Read more: University Challenge