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Trinity kicks off University Challenge 2023

Trinity will take on the University of Manchester in the first round of University Challenge 2023 on Monday 17 July.

Tune in to BBC Two at 8.30pm to see how the Trinity team, captained by Chemistry PhD student and Gates Scholar Ryan Kang, fares in the first programme of University Challenge Series 30.

The other Trinity team members are Agnijo Banerjee, in his first year of a PhD in Maths, Sarah Henderson, studying for a BA in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Jeremi Jaksina, who is pursuing an MPhil in Biological Sciences, and reserve member William Deacon, a second year History and Politics undergraduate.

Trinity last competed in University Challenge in 2021/22, with a team captained by Ludvig Brekke, which reached the quarter finals.

For this season, journalist and Cambridge alumnus Amol Rajan takes over from Jeremy Paxman as the host.

Given his experience as the reserve for the 2020 Trinity team, Ryan thought he would be fairly relaxed on set – at least less nervous than his teammates.

Actually going on to set was a whole different experience. When the lights are on you, the wardrobe and make-up team are making final adjustments, Amol is practising the introduction, and you are testing the buzzers – it really hits you that this is it.

All the random stuff you’ve been cramming and the practice matches have been for this and if you get eliminated here it’ll all be over – oh, and everything is recorded people will be watching this in the future.

The team with the Cambridge Intercollegiate Quiz tournament trophy

The team have practised a lot – and in May won the Cambridge Intercollegiate Quiz.

For Jeremi, who didn’t know about University Challenge until he came to Cambridge, there wasn’t a particular way to prepare.

Of course, at some point you end up desperately skimming through Wikipedia lists, but you usually start with the mindset of a three-year-old – you are just fascinated with the world and you wonder why it is the way it is. And you want to learn the names of everything.

Of the 52 competitions since the show began in 1963 (with a break from 1987 to 1995) Trinity College Cambridge has won three times.

Any UK university can apply, undergoing a rigorous selection process that whittles down on average 100 plus teams to 28.

Main image:  ITV Studios / Lifted Entertainment / Ric Lowe.

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