Stunning victory for University Challenge team


The University of Liverpool’s University Challenge team line up, with host Jeremy Paxman

There’s still a long way to go but the University of Liverpool’s University Challenge team secured an astonishing 255 point winning margin, in their opening round battle with Keele University.

The team, made up of captain, Chris Spencer, 22 , studying for a PhD in Tropical Medicine; English and French undergraduate, Daniel Jenkin-Smith, 22; medical student, Luke Nugent, 21 and Classics undergraduate Katherine Monks, 19, pulled off a stunning 295 to 40 points victory in their first round match of the long-running quiz.

“Very good score”

Even host, Jeremy Paxman, who captain, Chris Spencer described as “rather friendly in real life” considered it a “very good score”.

Chris said the team “felt fantastic” following the result: “We had no idea we would do so well to be honest, as we were painfully aware of Liverpool’s past form in the competition. Luckily the questions seemed to fall in our favour.

“We think the team worked because we all got along so well. The most important thing is that we tried to have fun and not take things too seriously.”

The team won the first six opening questions to race into a 105 points to nil lead, before Keele got off the mark. Chris and his fellow competitors then won the next three opening questions to open a 150 points to 15 lead, and never looked back.


The final scores confirmed a comprehensive victory for Liverpool

Chris said: “We all went for the team just to see if we could do it! It all seems to have gone well so far, although, after the first round, I’m not sure we are thinking much beyond the next.

Extremely proud

“Our families are extremely proud of us, and our friends are all very excited on our behalves. We all got a stunning number of texts and Facebook notifications as the show aired.”

The University was defeated in the first round by University of Bath last year, so a spot in the second round is already an achievement. The show now continues to play out the first round matches, leading all the way to the final in Spring 2014. Last year’s  final saw University College , London take on University of Manchester, with our fellow North West institution emerging as champions for the second year running.

University of Liverpool’s first round match is available on the BBC’s I-Player until 8.29pm on Monday 9 September, catch up here

University Challenge airs on  Monday evenings, at 8pm on BBC2.


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