College Challenge: Seven Memorable Moments Over the Years

College Challenge presenter Jeremy Paxman is leaving the UK’s longest running TV quiz show after 28 years.

Paxman, 72, is the second host after Bamber Gascoigne, who first hosted the show in 1962.

The show was revived by the BBC in 1994 with Paxman at the helm, showcasing his notoriously formidable interrogation style.


Jeremy Paxman (Yui Mok / PA)

Here are seven memorable moments the quiz show has brought to television over the years:

1) Boris Johnson was a contestant in 1999

The future Prime Minister, 58, appeared on the show in 1999 as the captain of the Broadsheets, who lost to the Tabloids.

Footage shows Paxman bringing light to Mr Johnson at the end of his appearance after the future prime minister celebrated his final question-and-answer victory by punching the air.

Paxman said: “I don’t know what you’re describing, you were so confused.”

2) Two-time University competition winner becomes prime minister and judicial secretary

Sir David Lidington, 66, represented Cambridge’s University of Sydney Sussex in 1979, winning the show that year before returning for a reunion episode in 2002 to mark the show’s 40th anniversary. .

Video of the day

Sir David’s team beat the 1968 winners from Keele University in the final to claim the grandest title in the show’s four-decade history.

In 1992, he was elected a Conservative MP for Aylesbury and went on to serve in Theresa May’s government as prime minister and foreign minister for justice from June 2017 to January 2018.

He became minister of the Cabinet Office and prime minister of the Principality of Lancaster until July 2019.


Sir David Lidington after being knighted (Victoria Jones/PA)

3) Stephen Fry appeared as a contestant in 1980

The broadcaster, actor and comedian, 64, is a notable celebrity who has competed in the College Competition on behalf of Queen’s College, Cambridge, with original questions manager Gascoigne .

Fry displayed the intelligence he is now famous for, with his team reaching the final round.

Since making her screen debut at the age of 23, the star has consistently appeared in classics including Blackadder, The Hobbit and the current game show QI.

4) A winning team was eliminated in 2009


Research team from Corpus Christi, University of Oxford (BBC/PA)

The BBC has been forced to disqualify Corpus Christi University, Oxford, for breaking the rules by using a candidate who is no longer a student.

At the time of the final, Sam Kay, from Surrey, was working as an accountant, and the title was transferred to the University of Manchester by default.

“I think it’s a bit embarrassing but I really feel sorry for the Corpus Christi team – I mean they were all legitimate students when it started,” Paxman said.

“But the rules are the rules, and they have to be stuck to.”

5) The contestants of the Famous College Challenge became celebrities in their own right


Bobby Seagull and Eric Monkman (BBC Radio 4/PA)

Eric Monkman, from Canada, and Bobby Seagull, from London, became rivals on intellectual gameshows.

The Cambridge graduates became popular songs on the 2017 edition of the BBC Two series.

Monkman is known for his expressive demeanor and lack of “indoor voice” when answering Paxman’s questions.

Seagull later turned down the opportunity to appear on Celebrity Big Brother before the pair landed their own TV series titled Monkman And Seagull’s Genius Guide To Britain.

6) University Challenge student boycott claims Paxman made ‘deviant and sexist’ remarks in a recording of the show


Jeremy Paxman (Anthony Devlin / PA)

In 2016, the University of Reading Student Union voted not to enter the quiz competition after previous members of the group complained about the alleged handling of comments.

At the time, Paxman told the PA news agency that he was “confused” but thought the problem stemmed from a conversation in the 2018 recording when he asked the Reading team about their mascot, an animal. Jeremy Paxman doll.

7) The College Challenge Inspires the Book and Movie

The quiz show, which pits students in groups of four against rival universities and colleges with questions including a “start for 10” question, inspired a David novel Nicholls was made into a film starring Scottish actor James McAvoy.

McAvoy plays a working-class young man from Essex who gets a chance to prove himself when he is accepted into the University of Bristol.

He finds romance with two students and tries out on a popular TV show called University Challenge.

https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/university-challenge-seven-memorable-moments-from-over-the-years-41916031.html College Challenge: Seven Memorable Moments Over the Years

Fry Electronics Team

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