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29 October 2014
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12.03.02

FACTUAL & ARTS TV


University Challenge Reunited


University Challenge celebrates its 40th anniversary in September 2002. Over the years, the show has played host to some of the country’s finest university brains - but where are they now?


University Challenge Reunited (begins Monday March 25, BBC TWO) not only reunites former winning teams with each other, but pits them against other series title winners, to play for the ultimate brainbox accolade - Champion of Champions.


University Challenge series champions span the decades. The first champions (University of Leicester, Class of '62) are now in their sixties whilst the most recent winners (Somerville College Oxford, 2002 - seen winning their title on BBC TWO last night) could just about be their grandchildren.


What happened to those champions from the Bamber Gascoigne years? Did they go on to become leaders of nations or did they wind up as perpetual students? Is the younger generation of scholars really up to the standard of their predecessors or has British culture irredeemably dumbed down?


University Challenge Reunited, with its then and now contrast, will provide a snapshot of some of the brightest people of successive generations, and how their lives and careers developed after their 15 minutes of fame. The series will explore the strengths and weaknesses of different age groups, as the random draw of team against team will inevitably throw up clashes between the most recent winners and the veteran champions.


Naturally, all the teams will have to face the irascible Jeremy Paxman who will be asking the questions. The younger teams all have first hand knowledge of his helpful encouragement and gentle cajoling - but the veterans may find the experience particularly bracing…


Peter Gwynn, Series Producer, says: "For this special series, we have invited back some of the most memorable teams ever to take part in University Challenge to compete for the title Champion of Champions. Each match will be preceded by archive material of their past performances so we’ll really get to know each team’s history, their strengths and weaknesses and what happened to them in the years since their triumph."


University Challenge Reunited is a Granada Production for BBC TWO.


Notes to Editors


University Challenge Reunited consists of 30 previous University Challenge finalists competing over 15 first round matches. There will then be the quarter final and semi-final stages and of course the grand final determining which team is the Champion of Champions.


The first fixtures for the new series are as follows:

Monday 25 March Imperial College, London (1995) v Merton College, Oxford (1981)
Monday 1 April Bradford (1980) v Lancaster (runners up 1980)
Monday 8 April Trinity College, Cambridge (1994) v New College Oxford (1964)
Monday 15 April Somerville College, Oxford (2002) v Leicester (1962)
Monday 22 April Sidney Sussex, Cambridge (1972) v University College, Oxford (1973)
Monday 29 April Sussex (1968) v Imperial College, London (2001)

 


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