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The team swot up in the University Challenge dressing room
The team swot up in the University Challenge dressing room
The University Challenge team with Jeremy Paxman
The University Challenge team with Jeremy Paxman

Press Release - 20 August 2008

Paxman to quiz Bath students on University Challenge

A team of four students from the University of Bath are to go head-to-head against students from the London School of Economics on the BBC2 quiz show University Challenge. The show will be aired on Bank Holiday Monday, 25 August (8pm – 8.30pm).

The team from Bath has reached the first round of the competition, which includes 28 teams from an initial application pool of over 130 British universities.

It is the first time since 1978 a team from the University has qualified for the televised stages of the long-running show hosted by Jeremy Paxman.

The members were selected last term from 58 applicants by the former President of the Students' Union, Dave Austin.

The team reflects the diversity of the University, by bringing together different academic disciplines and stages of study.

The captain is Bram Houtenbos, originally from Holland, who is studying Contemporary European Politics. The 23-year-old is one of the few non-native English speakers ever to participate in the competition.

The three other members are Russell McKenna, a postgraduate studying Engineering & Economics; Stephen Raper, a mature student of Mathematical Biology; and James Wilson, a first year studying Maths. The reserve is Joanna Legg, studying European Politics.

Between them, the team members have a host of knowledge on various subjects aside from their degree courses including flags of the world, food and drink, sovereigns, international politics, popular and classical music, geography, history and literature.

Russell McKenna explained his surprise at making it onto the show: “Between us we have very little experience in quizzes. Stephen is the most experienced one, having done several pub quizzes in his time.

“Preparation involved doing the rounds of pub quiz shows in Bath including the Metropolitan, which we won, and the Velo Lounge in Oldfield Park.

“We even practised with a board game of the show with lifelike buzzers!”


The University of Bath is one of the UK's leading universities, with an international reputation for quality research and teaching. View a full list of the University's press releases: http://www.bath.ac.uk/news/

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