First Round Heat 14/14 – Regent’s Park College Oxford v. Emmanuel College Cambridge
Here we are then, the last first round match of the series. Its an Oxbridge match, too, always guaranteed to bring out the best fighting qualities in both teams. Be honest, did you have any idea that there was a Regents Park College in Oxford ? That’s definitely something I’m going to use in a quizlink connection in the future. If I heard correctly, then some of the fewer than 200 students apparently go on to take up a ministry in the Baptist church.
As for Emmanuel, or Emma as its known in Cambridge apparently, has a chapel designed by Sir Christopher Wren, and one of the oldest swimming pools in the country. Alumni include Sebastian Faulks, who is a former contestant in University Challenge himself unless I am very much mistaken.
For much of the match this was an absorbing contest between two good teams, and it wasn’t until well into the second half of the show that Regents Park had the clear edge, and looked like they were going to win. Which left Emmanuel in the position of playing for a place in the repechage, and knowing exactly what they needed to do to get there. A bit of a strict adjudication, and a late flurry gave them the points they needed to join fellow Cambridge colleges Christ’s and Clare, and also University College London.
Here at LAM we may often make a point of highlighting some of Mr. Paxman’s more enjoyable interjections, but we must stress that in our opinion he is a very fair and honest man. However, a former Cambridge man himself, he couldn’t resist a wry chuckle at the fact that 3 of the 4 teams qualifying for the repechage are from Cambridge University.
Although the Regents Park team didn’t post one of the highest scores of this round, they did break the 200 points barrier, and they seem to have unearthed a little bit of a star in Mr. James Aber. What’s more – he’s from Ealing, like me ! What a man ! He managed no less than 8 starters, a terrific performance, and it was amusing to see his captain nominating him to answer bonuses even when he clearly hadn’t got a clue, and at one point he even said “Will you stop doing that ! “
Jeremy Paxman Watch
Mr. Paxman, after his spirited rebuttal of the dumbing down charges last weekend was in bullish mood right from the start. “Henry VIII ? !” he exclaimed at one ill-judged answer. A little later though, we saw the rare sight of him changing his mind as Jenny Harris of Emmanuel hesitated for a long time over a starter to which the answer actually was Henry VIII, which originally he seemed to be disallowing, then allowed with a stern warning and a verbal slap on the wrists. My goodness, but he was up for it in this show. Normally he only gets up to full speed by the last ten minutes, but last night he was like Murray Walker on amphetamines as he literally raced through the questions right from the start. Coming up to the last five minutes he refused James Aber of Regents Park’s answer of “RAB Butler and Hugh Gaitskill” to a question about Butskillism, since the full question did actually give Butler’s name, and specifically asked for the Labour leader. A fair adjudication, and one which did not materially effect the outcome of the match. As an aside, a question about the same subject was asked on Monday lunchtime’s “Brain of Britain “ on Radio 4. So does that mean that people are now going to suggest that BoB is dumbing down too ?
Interesting Fact That I Didn’t Already Know Of The Week
I’m tempted to say everything that Jeremy Paxman told us about Regent’s Park College to this one. I was also intrigued that the Economist Style Guide defines ‘hikes’ as ‘walks, not increases.”
So that concludes the first round, which has been as enjoyable as ever. For a review of the round, and a look ahead to the next round, check out the next post.