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The popular BBC quiz will feature University of Leicester students, and is due to broadcast on Monday 18 September.

The team comprises captain Pip Brown, 21, Stanley French, 20, Graham Aldred, 64, Jamie Byrne, 21, and fourth year medical student Alexander Chadwick as the reserve.

The University of Leicester was the first ever winning team of University Challenge in 1963 and this year’s foursome are ready to represent once again. The historically challenging quiz show pits two teams against each other as they battle head-to-head through a series of niche and academically focused questions.

Photo Credit: University of Leicester

In recent years, the show has taken on a cult status; renowned for its demanding knowledge requirements, fast pace and no-nonsense host Jeremy Paxman.

This year, the University of Leicester team hold a diverse range of academic backgrounds and extra-curricular interests. The four students also come from respective departments at the University of Leicester.

Team captain Pip Brown has just completed her first year of Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience. She described the process as, “Stressful, surreal but very rewarding; I will remember this experience for the rest of my life!

“On a side but important note, it was important for me to try and take part as an example of female and LGBT representation on the programme. The more University Challenge represents students generally the better!”

Stanley has just finished his second year of Chemistry. His interest in University Challenge dates back over ten years ago, when his uncle appeared on the programme.

Describing his experience, he said: “It was very exciting getting behind the audience and cameras, and getting to meet the other teams. We had a very nice chat with Jeremy Paxman – he was actually quite warm!”

Graham is a mature student who began studying Archaeology in 1999. He has since achieved a First Class Honours BA, an MA in Archaeology and Landscape History and is in the midst of his PhD research in Toponymic Archaeology. He has also balanced his work for the programme with full-time work running his own business.

Speaking of some initial trepidation, Graham said: “When I started, I was worried about being ‘the old git in the corner’ but that has never happened. My experience with my friends in the UC team has been as much as it has been in any other part of the University.”

For Jamie, who is about to go into the fourth year of his Physics degree, reaching the televised programme marks the achievement of a long-held dream. He applied to go on the programme in his second year, but the team failed to make it to the televised rounds.

He said: “When we made it through it seriously felt like I had completed a life goal! We had such a wonderful team this year and I honestly wish more than anything that I could do it all again!”

The programme is scheduled to broadcast on Monday 18 September on BBC Two at 8:00PM.


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