Fas­ci­nat­ing facts

Country Life Every Week - - In The Garden -

❍ This very Bri­tish in­sti­tu­tion is, in fact, based on an Amer­i­can show, Col­lege Bowl; Granada bought the rights to make it in the UK

❍ Univer­sity Chal­lenge ran from 1962 to 1987 on ITV. Seven years after it was axed, BBC2 com­mis­sioned Granada to make the show. Jeremy Pax­man has now been at the helm for 22 years to Bam­ber Gas­coigne’s 25

❍ The show cel­e­brated its 50th an­niver­sary in 2012, with the tro­phy pre­sented by The Duchess of Corn­wall, a life­time fan

❍ Univer­sity Col­lege, Ox­ford, has the all-time high­est score: 520 points in 1987. The all-time dunces are the 1972 Sus­sex team, who scored just 10 points

❍ Mag­dalen Col­lege, Manch­ester and Ox­ford are the most suc­cess­ful in­sti­tu­tions, with four ti­tles each

❍ Film­ing takes place in the spring term, with the fi­nal broad­cast more than a year later; con­tes­tants sign an agree­ment to keep the re­sults con­fi­den­tial

❍ With up to four record­ings a day, Mr Pax­man sim­ply changes his jacket, shirt and tie be­tween shows and may be wear­ing jeans be­neath the desk—‘ex­cept for the fi­nal, when you have to get up’

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