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24 September 2014
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Top professionals take on University Challenge

Top professionals of all ages will take on Jeremy Paxman and the University Challenge in a new spin-off series starting on BBC TWO in April.

In University Challenge - The Professionals the teams come from some of the most influential bodies in the UK, featuring people who should be cleverer and faster than average - but will this prove to be the case?

Representatives from professions including journalism; the Royal Air Force; the Inland Revenue and the House of Commons will be put to the test and there should be some fascinating contests between the groups.

Some will play teams in similar fields, so drawing on existing rivalries, whilst others will be pitched against teams whose lives are worlds apart…

Twenty-two teams will all play a first round match but there is no second round stage, only the top eight teams will gain a coveted quarter final place.

As ever, Jeremy Paxman will be in the chair, asking the questions and cajoling the contestants when they don't know the answers with his now infamous if impatient catch-phrase, "Come on, come on!"

Jeremy Paxman says: "After the success of University Challenge Reunited (2002), we were keen to do another spin-off series.

"Initially we toyed with doing a special for 6th form colleges but realised that it was hardly fair to expect 6th formers to have the same breadth of knowledge that undergraduates have.

"So I turned this idea on its head and thought "why not people from a wide range of professions?" Professional people – whether university educated or not – can, potentially, offer up a vast range of knowledge…"

And at stake for the ultimate champions? As always on University Challenge, there's no cash prize, no recording contract, no holiday in the sun. Just a modest trophy - and the satisfaction of knowing that they've won the toughest quiz show on television.

University Challenge - The Professionals starts on Monday 7 April on BBC TWO at 8.00 pm.

Notes to Editors

The running order for the first round matches

7 April
Cabinet Office v TUC
14 April
Royal Society v Institute of British Architects
28 April
British Geological Survey v The Royal Air Force
12 May

General Practitioners v British Dental Association

2 June
Clergy v Lawyers
9 June
House of Commons v Journalists
16 June
British Veterinary Association v Royal Meteorological Society
23 June
Fine Art Auctioneers v Psychiatrists
30 June
Women's Institute v Royal Naval College
7 July
Inland Revenue v College of Arms
14 July
Poets v Nurses

The first date is confirmed – subsequent dates may change. Please check with the BBC Press Office for the most up-to-date scheduling information.

University Challenge Final 2002 - 2003 (25.03.03)

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