University Challenge


University Challenge was back for a new series with Glasgow taking on Exeter. Among the eight student contestants only one was a woman and she wasn’t on the Glasgow side. Was this really the same Yooni attended by Nicola Sturgeon and Mhairi Black?

Glasgow raced into the lead early on, though it soon became clear there were glaring gaps in their knowledge. Asked to name the estate in London that took its name from a Roman watchtower, they furrowed their brows as if the question was preposterous. “Chester?” they ventured.

“No,” sighed quizmaster and chief harrumpher Jeremy Paxman. “It’s the Barbican.”

They had a similar blind spot when it came to the round on Dickens, adopting the unorthodox tactic of answering “David Copperfield” to every question in the hope it had to be right at some point. It was not.

But they were off to the races when a question on fictional enterprises in video games turned up. “Fallout!”, “Resident Evil!”, “Assassins’ Creed!”. Even Paxo had to smile. “Dear oh dear,” he said.

Exeter began to rally, with the sole woman often coming up with the right answer only to have a male colleague repeat it back to her (been there, done that meeting). But Glasgow got lucky with a picture round, the gong struck and the half hour was up. Glasgow 200, Exeter 145.

Paxo congratulated Glasgow on “a great score”. Onward they go to the next round, fingers crossed for more questions on video games.