Fuck BBC News

Can’t even comprehend this sheer cruelty for the sake of cruelty.


I like trying to answer the questions and laughing at the weird contestants and I always support whoever is playing an Oxbridge college. Definitely one of my favourite programmes though.

Thinking that that the number of Oxbridge colleges they have on is a disgrace and enjoying the actual programme are not mutually incompatible.


I feel like an alien from another planet when I try to watch it


Most of the time it’s the contestants that seem like no human being you’ve ever met.

Still the second best quiz on tv though (after Only Connect)


One of the bands I was in age 17 had at least 3 members later appear on UC which now seems ridiculous. Think only 1 of them went to Oxbridge tho.

1 Like

Honestly I think the board as a whole is above ragging on people who are more often than not incrrrrrrredibly harmless academics who are usually absolutely not self aware about how they come off.

You can absolutely like the quiz (I don’t) without needing to caveat whatever about oxbridge. That’s the show’s choice and nothing to do with the folks on it.

It’s not like the teams are full of banking jocks is it

1 Like

Yeah don’t take issue with you at all. Was a bit not hyped about the ‘watching it to laugh at people’ stuff.

1 Like

Is that what students at oxbridge look like these days? (Main photo in article). They all look in their 30s

Actually there are a lot of mature students on UC these days and a lot of international students. Very few teams are all young British kids. I think the age thing came from Paxman - he got a bee in his bonnet about people who he thought were ‘professional quizzers’ taking over the programme,

They’ve also slightly improved their previously lamentable under-representation of women in the last couple of years. One thing that did make me cross is when they were still thinking it acceptable to have multiple all male teams. I can’t remember any this year.

It’s just a quiz. It doesn’t have to be a representation of the whole concept of education.

There are definitely problems though - the advantage that having had an education in Latin and Greek gives you for instance, or the use of classical music - that do unfairly advantage certain groups, they could improve it by ironing those things out.

I still think the representation is pretty lacking tbh.

I applied as part of a team nearly 20 years ago, and the producers were quite open even then that they were looking to diversify from four white middle class men (we were four middle class men, though not all white). Even now it still feels pretty rare to have more than one woman on a team though, which seems ludicrous in this day and age.

I know there is a self-selection bias and you can argue that more men than women want to do it / value the kind of trivia that UC consists of, but all of these teams are picked by a production company, it’s not like the teams on TV are the result of a competitive process. They could make stricter demands of applicants and choose more diverse squads. That would be the simplest way to eliminate the Oxbridge bias as well - just don’t pick as many Oxbridge teams in the first place! There are several hundred degree-granting institutions in the UK, if the ratio of Oxbridge colleges was just proportional then it wouldn’t be so much of an issue. It’s not like the teams are inherently better.

Don’t disagree with that. They can definitely do more on representation and the Oxbridge college thing is clearly ridiculous, especially as lots of other Universities have colleges as well and aren’t treated the same.

I do think they are moving (too) slowly in the right direction- there are less Oxbridge colleges this year and more women. They should and will go further.

Incidentally I think the idea that women are not interested in quizzes is a bit of a myth. Brain of Britain had an all female final last year, for instance.

1 Like

Yes, but I think you have to critique things on their own terms. UC no more claims to be a complete representation of modern education than Question of Sport claims encapsulate every aspect of sport.

I really liked the Newnham team this year. They seemed to be doing it for fun and I was sad to see them knocked out.

As for mature students there was that bloke last week who seemed to know literally everything.

1 Like

Should do a swap, put loads of Oxbridge types into Love Island and loads of influencers on UC.


The biggest force against university challenge is me. They cancelled it the year before I went to university and didn’t dare restart it until the year after I left because they were scared at how amazing I would have been if I’d bothered to enter.


Now I’m thinking about this classic


He was (and is) truly amazing. Both the breadth of his knowledge and, particularly, the speed of his recall. Didn’t seem smug or annoying about it either.


OC > Catchphrase > Every other quiz and programme ever >>>>>>>>>> UC.

1 Like

Have we talked about the University Challenge theme music yet? Because it’s fucking shit.

1 Like