If minor edits are made they always accurately and fairly represent each team’s performanceBBC spokesman You might get a run of unanswered starter questions, they all get edited outJeremy Paxman Paxman, who was speaking publicly for the first time about his autobiography, said the episodes were edited because “as a taxpayer you do not want to think your money is being wasted”. It is understood that contestants are not able to answer a string of questions around two to three times a recording. The quiz show, which was revived on the BBC in 1994, sees two university teams compete against each other for the chance to win points by going head-to-head on “starter for 10” questions.One starter question contestants were unable to answer recently is the word found both in the title of a senior officer in the United Kingdom’s Royal Household and in the hereditary title of one of the great officers of state, who is responsible for royal affairs at the Palace of Westminster (Chamberlain). Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. In another episode, contestants did not know what the weekly Department of Health alcohol guidelines were for men (14 units per week). They also failed to name the artist who was reportedly responsible for a small, unsigned piece of work, which was withdrawn from an auction in 2012 after a Vanity Fair article cast doubt on its authenticity (Jackson Pollock).During the talk, Paxman, who previously presented Newsnight, also labelled the BBC “infuriating” as he reiterated his call for the corporation to think again about the £145.50 licence fee it charges households every year. “The BBC is too big, it makes mistakes and then it refuses to apologise for them properly,” he said.Describing the licence fee as an “antique mechanism”, he added: “It is not difficult to devise something in the digital age.“It is clearly not feasible to continue indefinitely with a system of taxes on a particular item of household furniture, which is essentially what it is. We don’t say there is a tax on washing machines or fridge freezers or something, do we? I don’t think it can last.”A BBC spokesman said: “Viewers should not be in any doubt that University Challenge contestants are the cream of the TV quiz crop – if minor edits are made they always accurately and fairly represent each team’s performance.” To the audience at home they appear to be geniuses who can answer tricky questions about science, philosophy and literature at the drop of a hat – but the University Challenge contestants may not actually be as smart as they first seem.In fact, sometimes they fail to answer so many starter questions the episodes have to be carefully edited to keep the audience satisfied, presenter Jeremy Paxman has revealed. Speaking at Henley Literary Festival, the 66-year-old said: “I’ll let you into a secret [about how] University Challenge is recorded.”If we get a run of questions, it doesn’t happen very often, say one show in seven or eight or 10 or something, you might get a run of unanswered starter questions, they all get edited out.”
Around 2.5million prescriptions of HRT, which can be administered as patches, pills or gels, are made every year in England.Women using HRT have written about their experiences of the shortage on a Facebook group called The Menopause Room. One wrote that they had “been told by several pharmacies in my area that it won’t be available until next year”. Others commented that they had been forced to change brands but that in some cases they did not work as well or brought on the return of symptoms including depression and hot sweats. Dr Haitham Hamoda, chairman of the British Menopause Society, told the newspaper: “There are 3.4million women in the UK between 50 and 64. The majority of these will have symptoms of the menopause, and the latest figures show around 200,000 are on HRT.”There are a number of factors behind the shortage. Some products have been discontinued entirely and others have had manufacturing issues, creating a temporary shortage.”Pharmacist Scott McDougall, director of the Independent Pharmacy, added: “The most commonly prescribed drugs are the worst affected. This has caused a domino effect that means other drugs have run out of stock because they did not foresee the increased demand. Almost all women on HRT will be affected in some way.”The Department of Health and Social Care said it first became aware of a supply problem in December 2018 and is working with suppliers.A spokesperson said: “We are aware of ongoing supply issues with some HRT preparations due to manufacturing delays. Stock levels at the UK’s two largest pharmaceutical wholesalers, seen by The Daily Mail, show that Alliance has run out of nine out of 27 HRT medications, while a further five are low in stock, and AAH Pharmaceuticals has run out of 15 of the 24 HRT brands it typically stocks. A national shortage of HRT which could affect “almost all” of the UK’s 200,000 menopausal women on the drug is now threatening the availability of alternatives, experts have warned.Hormone Replacement Therapy replaces the oestrogen that the body stops producing during menopause. New figures show that around half of these brands are currently unavailable in the country. High street pharmacies, including Lloyds and Boots, are said to be experiencing shortages thought to have been caused by manufacturing issues.Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “It’s incredibly concerning for both GPs and women that there are currently significant national shortage of many HRT patches and some tablets”.She added that there is also the worry that “alternatives to regular treatments might also become unavailable further down the line”. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.