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The University of Exeter’s University Challenge team

University of Exeter University Challenge team speak of their excitement after competing in the iconic TV quiz show

The University of Exeter’s University Challenge team faced the “intimidating gaze” of Jeremy Paxman and an intense atmosphere as they competed in the iconic TV quiz show.

The competitors - Jess Brown, Simon Waitland, Danny Lay and Will Klintworth – took on the University of Warwick on the BBC2 show. Despite building an early lead the team were pipped to the post by Warwick by 165 points to 150 but could still have a chance to progress in the play-off round.

Having been selected following a written exam, the team prepared for the competition by watching old episodes, trawling through books of past questions and competing against each other on a mock panel, using animal noises as buzzers. Three of the team are studying natural sciences and physics and Will Klintworth is a history and international relations student. The team were able to answer a broad array of questions correctly, including those about the artist Jacque-Louis Davide, chemical elements and the work of electronic music composer Wendy Carlos.

Jess, who is studying for a PhD in acoustic metamaterials said: “It was an amazing experience to be on University Challenge. I’ve always wanted to be on the programme and competing on it is exactly how you would expect – it was a really intense atmosphere under the bright studio lights. Jeremy Paxman is as intimidating as he appears on TV, and Roger Tilling's bold voiceover adds to the tension.

“To do well on University Challenge you really have to swot up, nothing is not worth knowing.”

Paxman praised the team after gong sounded. "You might come back as a highest-scoring losing team, who knows?", he suggested.

Date: 17 July 2018

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