This year, for the first time, Huddersfield are going to appear on the BBC Two programme University Challenge! The team have now formed a brand new Quiz Society, so you can get involved and you might even make it into next year’s team!
I'd always fancied going on University Challenge but missed out as an undergraduate at Lancaster University because I was playing hockey when the auditions for the team were held. So, a mere 44 years later, imagine my excitement when I finally got the chance to fulfil my ambition by representing Huddersfield! The team had a fairly steep learning curve from first getting together in November to recording in February but we gelled quickly with the help of our amazing coach, Dave, a professional quiz setter, who taught us the best tactics for a buzzer based quiz, and lined up practice matches against a team including an Egghead and a Mastermind finalist (we lost, but not by too much!) It also helped that we got on really well together, even though we were from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines - and I was old enough to be Aaron's granddad!
I'd been on a televised quiz before (Fifteen to One) so that probably helped, as did the presence of several of my friends in the audience. The production team were fantastic in explaining everything that was going to happen, and generally calming everyone's nerves. In the event, although there were a few butterflies immediately before we started, as soon as Jeremy Paxman asked the first question, any nerves disappeared, and the time seemed to fly by.
Altogether it was one of the most enjoyable, and memorable experiences of my life and one I'd recommend to anyone. I regretted missing out in 1975 - so if you fancy it, have a go when you have the chance.
As a long-term fan of University Challenge, both the original run under Bamber Gascoigne and since it came back under Jeremy Paxman, when I saw the posters around the University asking if people were interested in entering a team I had to give it a go. The experience of getting a team together, getting through the audition, and making it onto the show was amazing, not least because of meeting fellow team members Aaron, Andy, Becki, and Daisy, as well as our quizzing guru Dave.
I was nervous on the day of recording, to the extent that remembering my name for my introduction to camera was going to be a challenge - in the end, it was OK. Sat at our desk waiting for recording to start, the theme tune started playing and the announcer introduced the programme - it was (almost) like watching at home. If quizzing is for you, have a go if get the chance.
After watching quiz shows growing up and dreaming of having my knowledge tested on TV, when the opportunity of University Challenge arose it was one I didn’t hesitate to grab! Despite being the baby of the group I was keen to show what I could do and you don’t get many drama students on the programme either so it felt good to represent the arts!
Being Huddersfield’s first ever team to make the grade is something I’m immensely proud of and hopefully the society will encourage people to continue our legacy and hopefully one day have Huddersfield engraved on the trophy! I’m very excited for the upcoming year and we are hoping to make the quiz society one of the best groups to be a part of on campus. All are welcome and it’ll be great to uncover and test some quizzing talent!
See how the team do by going to their Viewing Party at 7.30pm on Monday 7 October in OA4/01 which you can register for here. The showing will start at 8.00pm on BBC Two for everyone watching at home. We can't wait!