Belfast Telegraph

Ulster 'veterans' go into battle for third time on University Challenge

By Allan Preston

A team of students from Northern Ireland will face a grilling from the irascible Jeremy Paxman for the third time tonight on University Challenge.

With an average age of 50, the Ulster University team is the oldest in the competition.

Tonight they will take on the 2007 champions, Warwick University.

This is the first time UU has entered a team in the highbrow BBC quiz

They lost to Edinburgh University by just five points in the competition's first round, but posted the highest losing score in six years.

As the first round's highest scoring losers, the team were given a second chance under the competition's rules.

And they scored a convincing second round victory over Oxford's St Anne's College.

Their performance was viewed by a television audience of nearly 3 million, the highest audience for any programme on BBC2 that week.

A clip of the episode was featured on a celebrity edition of Channel 4's Gogglebox.

Watching was heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne of Black Sabbath fame, who said: "I don't understand the questions... and I don't understand the answers either."

A question from the episode also featured on BBC satirical comedy quiz show Have I Got News For You, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn confidently answering "Sparta" to an ancient history question on the Punic Wars - only to be upstaged as Ulster correctly answered "Carthage".

The UU team consists of captain Iain Jack from Peterhead in Aberdeenshire; Kate Ritchie from Waringstown, Co Armagh; Cathal McDaid from Buncrana, Co Donegal, and Matthew Milliken from Comber, Co Down.

They all study at different UU campuses and had to travel miles to get together to practise.

Their record third appearance in the competition is broadcast tonight on BBC2 at 8pm.

Belfast Telegraph


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