TONIGHT: Peterhouse in the University Challenge Final

When it’s on, where you can watch it, and most importantly, what are their chances?

gdbo Hannah Woods johns Julian Sutcliffe loveday Oscar Powell Oxford Peterhouse university challenge

Forget the perennial Cambridge confidence decimation you get from observing students far more intelligent than you are. Emerge from that UL hovel of revision notes you’ve been residing in, and sit back with a glass of port, turn on the television, and have your confidence decimated through observing students far, far more intelligent than you are.


Only four teams each from Oxford and Cambridge are allowed within each series, but Oxbridge domination has transcended the socially utopian humouring of the Yorks and Leeds of this world. Teams have been whittled down to make way for the real competition: Oxford or Cambridge? ‘University’ Challenge has proven once again to be de facto Varsity Challenge. God. Damn. Bloody. Oxford..

This time last year #allyouneedisloveday

Tonight’s final sees Peterhouse take on St John’s Oxford, for the second time in this year’s competition. Peterhouse needs to take home the trophy, not just for its fruitcake modellers and Adonis voyeurs, but for Cantabs everywhere. It’s time for this relatively light-weight college to gain some recognition. Tonight’s victory would be a historic one for Cambridge, winning three times consecutively.

Without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about tonight’s final:

When is it on? 

Tonight’s final will be shown on BBC Two at 8pm.

Where can I watch it?

Peterhouse will screen the final from 8pm tonight in their theatre, providing an unbeatable atmosphere as students of the college gather to cheer on their team. Students of the college have even been warmly invited for drinks by their master from 7.30pm. Catch it in any college bar, or just watch it on your own on the BBC website, you lonely misanthrope. Make sure you unplug your Macbook though when dubiously circumventing TV licensing technicalities at your own peril.

Alternatively, if the thought of spending time doing anything other than completing past papers this Easter insults your very being, The Tab will be live blogging the whole thing too. Ted Loveday, last year’s champion, also usually provides a stellar Twitter commentary, and can be followed at @TedTalksUK.

Can you tell me about the Peterhouse team? 

Well, of course.

Hannah Woods, History

Eyebrows on fleek

Peterhouse’s colourful team is headed by Hannah, a PhD student and this year’s team captain. She’s received a large amount of attention on social media due to her “killer arch” eyebrow raise as she slays her competition. She told The Telegraph, “I think it’s quite funny that people think I’m being terribly arch”. Since appearing on the show, she has received Valentine’s cards, a bottle of gin, and even a marriage proposal straight to her pigeon hole.

Oscar Powell, Geological Sciences

Like his team captain, Oscar also went viral on social media. His facial expressions and wild gesticulation encouraged Paxman to comment on the show “Have you ever considered a career in standup, Oscar?”


Julian Sutcliffe, History

Julian brings a splash of style to the team, rocking a selection of chic sweatshirts featuring patterns of birds. His latest garment was a mustard jumper which he rocked on the semi-final. We’re sure he’ll have something special for tonight.

Thomas Langley, History

The “love-child of Daniel Radcliffe and Ron Weasley”

And finally, there’s Thomas. Described by his friends as “a young Jeremy Corbyn” and the “love-child of Daniel Radcliffe and Ron Weasley”, Thomas sports fine facial hair on the show. Thomas’ sadistic friends have created a Facebook page hilariously portraying him as jealous of the Twitter fame of his other teammates.

Will you tell me about the Oxford Team?

Boo. Well, if you insist. Competing for Oxford are Alex Harries, studying History, Angus Russell, their team Captain, studying History and Russian, Charlie Clegg, studying Theology and Dan Sowood, studying Chemistry. Their team as a whole has been less caricatured on social media and has thus received less attention. However, Charlie Clegg’s Glaswegian accent is amazing.


Is there any else about University Challenge I should know? 

The show has had a fair few famous Cambridge alumni competing over the years, including Stephen Fry for Queens’, David Starkey for Fitzwilliam and Julian Fellows, the writer of Downton Abbey for Magadelene. More recent famous contestants have included the wonderful Ted Loveday, who won the nation’s hearts after answering ten starter questions correctly in last year’s final. And then there was Kaamil Shah from King’s who wore that leather vest and a gold chain earlier in the series.

Straight Outta Cambridge.

Okay, stop with the trivia, there’ll be enough of that tonight. Just tell me what Peterhouse’s chances are…

Actually very good. The Peterhouse team remains undefeated this series, and even beat St John’s Oxford in the quarter-finals, so they should be able to do it again. Don’t take my word for it, Ted Loveday conducted a poll on Twitter which shows just as much:

Thanks Ted

Remember to tune in tonight at 8pm. GDBO.