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Oxford stripped of University Challenge title

Oxford stripped of University Challenge title
Oxford stripped of University Challenge title (Image credit: EMPICS)

The Oxford University team which won this year's University Challenge has been disqualified after fielding an ineligible contestant. The team - which beat Manchester 275 to 190 in the quiz show's grand final - was stripped of the title by the BBC after it emerged that team member Sam Kay was ineligible to take part, because he had already graduated. But Manchester contestant Henry Pertinez, 27, said their rivals 'beat us fair and square' and that his team had been awarded the series title 'on a technicality'. "It's a hollow victory," he added. More than 5.3 million viewers, a record audience, tuned in to see last week's final, which featured Corpus Christi's brainbox contestant Gail Trimble. The 26-year-old Latin scholar scored two-thirds of her team's 1,200 points before the final and has been described as the 'best contestant ever'. Manchester's team captain, Phd student Matthew Yeo, 25, said of the disqualification: "We abide by the decision of the judges. We are obviously saddened by the whole experience of the last 48 hours. "This is certainly not how we wanted to be awarded the trophy and to be crowned champions of University Challenge. "We feel not only that this has detracted from the award, but also detracted from the enormous fun of being on University Challenge." Matthew added that he and the team wanted to send their 'best wishes' to all of the Corpus Christi team at an 'undeniably difficult time for them'. Get exclusive access to your favourite stars. Subscribe to TV Times magazine (opens in new tab)

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 


An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.