University Challenge Final Liveblog

Cambridge pins hopes on John’s in Oxbridge final

Another Oxbridge final for University Challenge and the fifth year in a row this has happened.

Although we might love taking the piss out of John’s and mocking their private school posho ways, the time has finally come to unite behind them. Because as much as we might chant ‘we’d rather be at Oxford than St John’s’, to actually support Oxford against a Cambridge college would amount to blasphemy.

About the John’s team: Captain James Devine-Stoneman studies Superconducting Spintronics (yes I totally know what that means) and has apparently applied to be on the team every year since arriving in Cambridge in 2012. If my maths is correct, he must be in his 5 year in Cambridge now.

Fellow team mates are John-Clark Levin who is an American postgrad studying Politics and International studies, Rosie McKeown who does French and German, and Vet Med student Matt Hazel.

Final is on BBC 2 @ 8:30pm

21:05: Corks off as the champagne has been brought out. You can count on John’s to know how to celebrate in style.

21:02: Cambridge takes the crown again, and John’s joins Peterhouse, Caius and Trinity as recent University Challenge Winners at Cambridge


20:58: Update on the results, John’s on 145 and Merton on 100

20:56: St John’s McKeown is on fire with the answers. Merton getting thrashed.

20:53: Picture round and I would try and describe this but I have no idea where to begin. Floating babies…? Devine-Stoneman thankfully knows though.

20:50: Merton getting a little bit trigger happy and have been losing points for buzzing in incorrectly. John’s now over double Merton.

20:49: The scene below at the Union…

20:47: No one gets the operatic starter for ten. On the plus side, John’s have taken the lead with 55 to Merton’s 45.

20:43: If you’re wondering what superconducting spintronics is, John’s enlightens us with this picture.

20:41: Spicy question coming up here, did I just see the word ‘sex’? Have also been reliably informed that John’s have set up champagne already, clearly expecting that they are celebrating something…

20:39: People at John’s booing every time Merton get a question correct – which is a lot of booing at the moment as John’s is sadly yet to get off the mark. Merton Captain Woodward is on fire though, perhaps the new Gail Trimble.

20:37: Oh things are getting more exciting here, now we have bonus questions about the shipping forecast.

20:35: First starter for ten, some niche quote from the House of Lords, and Merton gets the first bonus – on the ‘ineffable’. Merton team look stumped for once.

20:34: It’s a truth universally accepted that anyone who wears a suit must be doing theology or classics, and the person at the end is always a scientist.

20:32: Cue chirpy tunes at Paxman is introduced. Introductions are now made – is it just me or does anyone else try and guess what subject the people do when they introduce them?

20: 31: The scenes at John’s, where there are over 200 people packed in a room to cheer on their college.

20: 22: Neither John’s or Merton have ever won before, though both have been in the final before, so this is a big night for both colleges. From the first starter for ten to the final prize giving, we will be documenting it the whole way.

20:20: Suitably ensconced into my seat and ready to watch the show begin. If you’re busy cramming for those pesky prelims, don’t worry you can stay updated on the quizzical shenanigans with The Tab.