Monday, 16 November 2009

TV Watch - University Challenge

University Challenge – second round heat 3/8 – St. John’s Oxford v. Loughborough

Jeremy Paxman paid tribute to St. John’s first round performance, where they scored 270 points to Durham’s 90. In their own first round match Loughborough defeated Univeristy College London by 205 to 175 in one of the best matches of the round. On paper St. John’s seemed to have a clear advantage, but then it was worth remembering that Loughborough’s points had been scored against UCL, a team good enough to head the repechage board, and win through to the second round .

St. John’s kicked off with the first starter, and seemed to be having the better of the buzzer battles, certainly for the first ten minutes. As we moved into the second third of the contest they had a 45 point lead, with 95 to Loughborough’s 50. Loughborough have some good players, though, and they weren’t going to give in without a fight. Ann Jennings had impressed in her first match and she made some timely buzzes, as Loughborough cut the lead to a mere 25 points at the halfway stage.At no time during the contest, though, did Lougborough quite manage to close the gap.

At this point my son Michael rang to say that he’d seen my last AYAE show on the iplayer, so I lost a little concentration, so much so that I could have sworn that JP said that one of the characters in Rossini’s opera “The Thieving Magpie “ had a servant called Viennetta. Surely not.

This year we’ve noted that maybe there aren’t the superb teams we saw last year, but there are some superb individual players in the tournament. St. Johns seem to buck the trend, with all of the team contributing to the haul of starters and bonuses. As such they’re rather convincing. By the end of the contest they had eked out the lead to 30 points, winning by 220 points to Loughborough’s 190.

Jeremy Paxman was certainly impressed with Loughborough’s score, calling it one of the highest losing scores we’ve had. Which I guess really points to the fact that this is a series in which many of the teams are quite closely matched, which makes it anyone’s series. All of which has to be good for the viewers.

Jeremy Paxman Watch

Not having the charms of the ladies of Newnham to soothe his savage breast this week, JP was back to his more usual self tonight. When offered “Costa Rica” as the answer to which Central American country has the colon as currency, he responded “Of Course” as if insulted that the question needed to even be asked in the first place. As a music starter, teams were asked to identify that the band singing “Sugar Sugar” were The Archies. JP curtailed this song as quickly as was humanly decent with the words,
“We don’t want to endure any more of that . “ Strange. By my reckoning our Jeremy would have been in his late teens when that one came out – right up his street I would have thought.

Interesting Fact That I Didn’t Already Know Of The Week

The flag of Angola has a star, and a motif of a machete crossed with part of a cogwheel on it .

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