Homerton Flagged Up Over Uni Challenge
Homerton were denied crucial points that cost them victory in University Challenge this week, after researchers fudged a flag and mistakenly said a correct answer was WRONG.
A blunder by University Challenge bigwigs cost Homerton victory last week, after the show claimed a correct answer was WRONG.
The show’s host Jeremy Paxman asked the team to identify a flag during the picture round of Monday’s match against Balliol College, Oxford – but researchers failed to realise that the flag was, in fact, used for two purposes, and rejected Homerton’s correct answer.
If Homerton’s answer had been accepted they could have beaten Balliol. Just 5 points separated the two teams at the end, with the final score was 200 – 205. Despite the loss, the result makes them one of the highest scoring losers in the show’s history.
The dodgy flag that cost Homerton the game
Homerton student Thomas Grinyer identified the flag as that of: “the 13 colonies,” but his answer was then mercilessly slated by Paxo, who said the flag belonged to The East India Company.
The Telegraph later reported that Grinyer’s answer was arguably correct all along, revealing that the East India and 13 colonies flags were in fact identical.
John Prime, a retired navy officer, flagged the question as dubious, saying: “[The shows researchers] had basically gone for that flag without realising that actually it’s one of the rare flags that is duplicated. In fact the Grand Union Flag of the original 13 US Colonies is identical to the East India Company’s flag.”
The glum Homerton team pipped at the post
Paxman’s blunder is perhaps unsurprising given the recent revelation that he failed to make it onto the St Catz teamwhile he was a student there.
The BBC were quick to reject The Telegraph’s allegations that their question was flawed. A spokesperson for the show told The Tab that the question was phrased in a way which specifically asked which organisation the flag represented, meaning that there really was only one valid answer.
The Homerton team have been good sports about the mix up and defended the Beeb. Team member Jack Euesden said: “Who do these so called ‘experts’ think they are to try and defame the oracle that is Paxo? I’m enraged that flag-gate has tried to detract from the integrity of the game.”