Tuesday, 15 December 2009

TV Watch - University Challenge

University Challenge – Round 2 – Heat 7/8 – Edinburgh University v. Regents Park College Oxford

Edinburgh last graced our screens back in August, when I was in Spain. In the first round they beat Central Lancashire by 175 to 155, in a close contest.Their opponents, Regents Park, won a good match against Emmanuel College Cambridge, who were good enough to get into the repechage round. Emmanuel, led by the excellent Alex Guttenplan, were good enough to win their repechage match, and then their second round match against UCL. So would their conquerors, Regents Park, be able to join them ?

You may recall in Regents Park’s first round match that I was particularly impressed with Mr. James Aber , who hails from the London Borough of Ealing, where I grew up. His form, and indeed that of the whole Regents Park team seemed rather less impressive for the first part of this contest, as Edinburgh seemed noticeably quicker on the buzzer. First blood went to Edinburgh. Regents Park responded with the next starter, but none of the bonuses, and a miscue for the next starter lost them 5 points of what they’d already got. Edinburgh pulled out a lead as the first half of the show progressed, and there was no reason to think at the halfway stage that this would not be a comfortable win for them.

Gradually Regents Park began to pull back the deficit. With a little over 5 minutes to go Regents Park had closed the gap to a starter and bonuses, and they got them as well. It really was all to play for . All of the Edinburgh team had thus far contributed answers. It was nice to see also Edinburgh represented by one of a dwindling number of mature students in this series in the shape of Alan Kimmet. However I must pay tribute to Andrew Matheson. His buzzing had just seemed that little bit sharper throughout the competition than any of the Regents Park team, and when it mattered in the last couple of minutes he came up with a couple of timely buzzes so that Edinburgh got their noses in front as they passed the finishing post. He wasn’t reticent about showing his joy at coming home in front either. Good on him, I say.

For the record, Edinburgh won by 170 points to 150. A good win against a team whose first round performance certainly showed that they were a team to be reckoned with. Hard lines Regents Park, but you put up a good fightback, and in the end it just could have gone either way.

Next week its regular LAM correspondent Rachel’s Manchester team, in the last of the second round matches. I’m really looking forward to it.

Jeremy Paxman Watch

Every now and then JP will have a real happy pills evening, when he seems to really enter into the lighthearted spirit of the contest, and enjoy himself. This was just such an occasion. There was little for dedicated Paxman twitchers to get excited about. A question was asked about a poem published in 1667, to which the answer “Paradise Lost “was given. “Obviously!” snorted our Jeremy, disgusted so it seemed that such a question even needed to be asked in the first place. Only one telling off for starting to confer over a starter as well. Is he going soft in his old age ? I think we should be told.

Interesting Fact I Didn’t Already Know Of The Week

Well, actually, this is a fact that I already did know of the week. Let me explain. Listening to yesterday’s BoB I recalled that I had answered the question,
“In which game is the Bermuda Bowl contested ? “ wrongly. It was an inexplicable error – I KNEW that it was Bridge, but for some reason. . . well, anyway, imagine my chagrin when pretty much the same question was asked again tonight !

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