UCL show they’ve got Balliols

An entertaining UCL team smashes Balliol College in University Challenge quarter finals.

Balliol College ucl University Challenge

In a thrilling end to the University Challenge quarter finals, UCL defeated Balliol College 235 points to 145. Led by the brightly dressed medic with curly purple hair, Jamie Karran, the UCL team displayed knowledge of everything from the Liberian flag to French cooking, comprehensively out-thinking their Oxford opponents.

The rest of the team is made up of Howard Carver, studying a PHD in the Modelling of Blood Flow, Patrick Cook, who reads History, and Tom Andrews, a Genetics student.

In order to make sure the viewers got their money’s worth, UCL decided not to answer a question in the first seven minutes, lulling Balliol into a false sense of security and ceding a 75 point advantage. However, ‘UCL Carver’ got the ball rolling with a sound knowledge of the African West Coast.

Despite some harsh pars from Paxman, we dominated from there on in, with the sort of performance that the delightful presenter had characterised as a “refreshingly cavalier attitude to what others might consider facts” at the start.

If you watch tonight’s episode on BBC iPlayer, you will see the UCL panel flourished with two team mascots, a teddy bear atop some sort of plush Pac-man. Balliol College, too, decided they needed a mascot, though unfortunately he was the burly Australian one from the left, supposedly reading economics, who didn’t answer a question all night. Maybe he’s over here for the boat race.

By the final few minutes, UCL, confident of victory and at ease in the spotlight, began to laugh their way through a question about black aquatic birds (the answer turned out not to be ‘booby’) and were thoroughly entertaining throughout (as much as you can be on University Challenge).

Keep up-to-date with the progress of the boys on The Buzz as they deservedly head into the semi-finals with Worcester College, Pembroke College and Manchester.