Introducing Your University Challenge Team

It's time to meet the Royal Holloway students who are going to be battling it out with universities from across the UK in a bid to face Jeremy Paxman! Can they go one better than previous teams and make it to the live shows?!

Ever wanted to know what it feels like to have Jeremy Paxman stare you down, tut disapprovingly and disregard your answer to a question which he only knows because he has it on a card in front of him?

Well, a team of Royal Holloway students are going to be battling it out for a chance at this exact opportunity!

In previous years, our teams have undertaken a gruelling test at the studios to unfortunately just miss out on the recorded shows but this year could well be the year...

Our online application process was open to all students and we had over 50 applications from students eager to get involved! The questions covered a variety of subjects so they would be best prepared for the niche questions they would face on the show. This resulted in a team of five forming to represent Royal Holloway (four in the team and one reserve).

Hear from the team below:

Niamh Smith (Team Captain)

Hi, I’m a third-year English and History student. I have loved University Challenge since I first watched it when I was 13 and only got two questions right! Thankfully, my general knowledge has improved since then and I’m excited and honoured to not only make the team this year, but to be the team captain.

I am really looking forward to what should be an interesting and fun experience, and hopefully we can make it onto the televised show and do Royal Holloway proud!

Marcel Armour

I am studying a PhD in Cyber Security with the ISG and my research is in cryptography. My quizzing areas of expertise are probably maths, philosophy, languages and a bit of literature.

I decided to apply for the University Challenge team because I enjoy quizzing and watching University Challenge on the TV. I was on last year’s team which unfortunately didn’t make it to the televised event — hopefully this year’s team has better luck!

Elise Thomson

I am second-year History & PIR student and like my fellow teammates, I am excited to undertake this opportunity which grantees to be both rewarding and challenging in equal measures. Combining multiple disciplines allows for a great display of team effort and we cannot wait to start!

George Harvey

I've always liked quizzes, having done a few when at school - so when I heard the team application being talked about I knew it was something I had to go for. I am looking forward to having a go at this nationally renowned challenge and potentially representing the University.

Rebecca Bellis 

I applied for University Challenge because me and my family have been watching it every Monday at home since I was young! I’m most looking forward to the chance to be on TV (of course!) and supporting the team.

(And a quick fun fact for you… The Danish astronomer, Tycho Brahe, had a pet elk that died after getting drunk on strong beer and falling down the stairs.)