Trinity’s alumni team narrowly beat Oriel College in a nailbiting finish to the University Challenge Christmas special last night.
The eclectic team’s diverse strengths – including astronomy, popular music and literature – kept up the pressure on the high-performance Oriel team.
What swung it for Cambridge could have been Trinity’s smart powers of deduction. And perhaps that’s what made the contest compelling: at times the Trinity team looked non-plussed by the quick-fire questions, but each member could think on their feet and they quickly reached a consensus.
Food writer Bee Wilson, mathematician Tim Gowers, BBC science producer Zoe Heron, and Sky News journalist, Faisal Islam made up the winning team.
Trinity scored 140 points to Oriel’s 135. Even Jeremy Paxman seemed impressed:
That’s about as close as it gets unless we have a sudden death on a dead heat. So congratulations to both teams.
Depending on the scores in other heats, Trinity could return to the Christmas Special series, Paxman said:
Trinity, you might come back as one of the highest scoring winning teams – we’ll have to see, it depends on how others perform.
You can watch Trinity’s winning performance on BBC Two.