Watch University Challenge on UK BBC TV
BBC Television Provide UK Web Users with Free Coverage of University Challenge on BBC iPlayer.
University Challenge has graced the BBC since 1962. The show originally started on ITV, but since switched channels in 1994.
Throughout the later years, this popular quiz has been hosted by irascible Jeremy Paxman. Teams from universities across the UK compete for the accolade of Challenge Champions.
The format of each series sees 28 teams taking part in a knockout tournament, although the losers sometimes get a chance at redemption. The 14 winners proceed directly to the next round, whilst four of the highest scoring losing teams get a chance for a spot in the last 16.
The “starter” questions require a fast finger, as contestants individually buzz in without conferring to answer for 10 points, giving rise to the famous catchphrase of “your starter for 10”. After this, the teams have a shot at answering three bonus questions during which they can confer for the answers.
As well as direct questions, there are two picture rounds and a music round in each game.
As the game progresses, the pace gradually increases, through to a frantic final round up until the infamous ‘gong’ sounds the end of the show. If the score is tied at the end of the final round, Paxman asks a ‘sudden death’ question, where the first team to answer correctly wins the game.
The conclusion is notable for the iconic catchphrase exit, where Paxman says “it’s goodbye from (losing team), it’s goodbye for (winning team) and it’s goodbye from me. Goodbye!”
Over the years there have been many notable contestants such as author Clive James, MP David Mellor, TV newsman John Simpson and the all-knowing Stephen Fry.
The questions are pitched at a higher level than most quiz games, but most people should have the knowledge to answer at least some of them.
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