GLASGOW has crashed out of this year’s University Challenge.
After a high scoring first round victory against Exeter, the Scots university could only manage 90 points against King’s College London’s 175 in last night’s contest.
Appearing for Glasgow were: Brian Nieves, from Maryland, USA, studying for a masters in history; James Warburton, Lancashire, PhD in the history of medicine; Rory McDowell, Belfast. MSc in global security; and Michael Greencorn, Nova Scotia, doing a PhD in engineering.
In his introduction to the Glasgow team, host Jeremy Paxman said their impressive knowledge of video games in the first round showed they lived by the motto “a healthy mind in a healthy body”.
But it was their failure to answer correctly on a wide range of subjects ranging from geography to film directors that cost them a place in the quarter finals.
Glasgow were first in the points with Warburton correctly identifying the pseudonyms of the street artist Banksy. But the team failed to capitalise on the bonus round, answering one out of three questions correctly on youths in Shakespeare. It was to be a familiar pattern.
King’s attempted to bring some humour to proceedings when asked how they would ask, in French, for a steak to be well done.
Declining to even attempt an answer, team captain Sam Jackson said: “Unfortunately we are people of taste.”
The host replied, “People of ignorance, too” before revealing the answer to be “bien cuit”.
Glasgow swooped on the starter question for the next round but fell down on the follow up.
“What name is shared by a city in West Yorkshire and a Wiltshire town on the River Avon?” asked Paxman. The team tried Stratford, which turned out to be in neither Yorkshire nor Wiltshire. The correct answer was Bradford.
By the ten-minute mark the teams were tied at 35 each before King’s pulled ahead with 75.
A run of correct answers from Glasgow’s Warburton brought them back in the game. In the next bonus round, on Australian bands, the all-male team answered two out of three correctly and pulled ahead 80 points to King’s 75.
The London university, with one woman on the four-strong team, rallied and never looked back.
“Bad luck Glasgow,” said Paxman. “You were doing all right in the early stages but you seemed to lose interest half way through.”