I was delighted to see my old college Magdalene Cambridge beat University College Oxford in University Challenge 170-130 last night.
It was nip and tuck till the end, when a couple of interruptions by University cost them point deductions, and Magdalene then hogged the questions.
I was wondering which famous alumni – apart from myself – QM Jeremy Paxman would mention and I was correct for my starter for ten when he cited Samuel Pepys and John Simpson.
Katie Derham, also got a citation.
Some 46 years ago I was first reserve for the team.
I was on the Junior Common Room Committee who received sample questions from Granada.
We never distributed them widely and selected the team from amongst ourselves.
A jovial gent arrived from Granada, himself a Magdalene man, as was the then QM Bamber Gascoigne. The Granada man explained that they put on a coach to the Granada studios in Manchester and enquired thus who was are our local coach company: “Are you Crappers?”
Bamber Gascoigne received us warmly.
I asked him if he ever got silly questions from viewers.
He replied that one viewer never misses an episode but is convinced the team that sits on top has the advantage, imagining the studio was some sort of couchette.
It is very cheap telly as we got no expenses but I heard that recruiters look out for personable, well-presented intelligent participators.
The cleverest person I have seen on it was Stephen Fry in a celebrity version who must have got every questions right.
Here is a link to last night’s episode – UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE