November 2013

Graduate line-up and fixture list revealed for BBC Two's Christmas University Challenge

Graduate line-up and fixture list revealed for BBC Two's Christmas University Challenge

Teams of prominent graduates from 14 universities and university colleges will compete for the glory of their institutions and the honour of being declared series champions in Christmas University Challenge on BBC Two.

Each team will compete in one of seven first-round matches. The four teams with the highest winning scores will play in two semi-finals, with the winners meeting in the final.

Peter Gwyn, executive producer, ITV Studios, said: "Christmas University Challenge demonstrates the strong intellectual and emotional ties that continue to bind people to the places where they studied. This provides an intriguing extra dimension to what is set to be a fiercely contested series!"

University Challenge is filmed at dock10 studios in Salford.


St Hugh's, Oxford: Dame Liz Forgan, Chair of the Bristol Old Vic and National Youth Orchestra; Suzy Klein, writer and radio presenter; Alex Hibbert, polar expedition leader; and Rowan Pelling, Daily Telegraph columnist and broadcaster.

King's College, London: Anne Ashworth, Assistant Editor and Property Editor of The Times; Rory Bremner, comedian and writer; Susan Hill, author of books including The Woman In Black; and Arthur Butt, Professor and Director of the Institute of Biomedical and Biomolecular Sciences at the University of Portsmouth.

Leicester: Sue Cook, novelist and television presenter; Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party; Heather Couper, astronomy writer and television presenter; and Nigel Henbest, science writer and broadcaster.

Reading: Jay Wynne, weather presenter; John Simpson, former Chief Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary; Cornelia Parker, Turner Prize-nominated artist; and Joan Smith, columnist for The Guardian and The Independent and human rights campaigner.

Sussex: Alice Arnold, broadcaster and writer; Simon Fanshawe, comedian and campaigner; Claudia Hammond, psychology writer and broadcaster; and Rob Bonnet, sports broadcaster and producer.

Keele: Francis Beckett, contemporary historian and biographer; Maggie Atkinson, Children's Commissioner for England; Ian Moncrieff, former Rear Admiral and Chief Executive, UK Hydrographic Office; and Steve Jackson, co-founder of Games Workshop.

Southampton: Jason Cowley, Editor of The New Statesman; Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Arts; Baroness Claire Tyler, Liberal Democrat peer; and Stefan Buczacki, horticulturalist and botanist.

Kent: Fi Glover, writer and television and radio presenter; Robert Wade, screenwriter and co-writer of five James Bond films; Rebecca Lenkiewicz, playwright and film, television and radio screenwriter; and James Wong, television science presenter.

Aberystwyth: Dr. Timothy Brain, former Chief Constable of Gloucestershire; Chris Leek, British Mensa board member; Elfyn Llwyd, barrister and Plaid Cymru MP; and Dan Jarvis, MP and Shadow Minster for Justice.

Stirling: Paul Lewis, presenter of Radio 4's Money Box; John McLellan, Director of the Scottish Newspaper Society; Muffy Calder, Chief Scientific Advisor to the Scottish Government; and Richard Lochhead, MSP and Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment.

Emmanuel, Cambridge: Simon Singh, science writer; Mary-Ann Ochota, anthropologist and television presenter; Rory McGrath, comedian; and Hugo Rifkind, columnist for The Times, The Spectator and GQ.

Gonville and Caius, Cambridge: Lars Tharp, one of the experts on Antiques Roadshow; Quentin Stafford-Fraser, technology entrepreneur; Helen Castor, historian and television presenter; and Mark Damazer, former Controller of Radio 4 and Master of St Peter's College, Oxford.

Christ Church, Oxford: Andrew Graham-Dixon, art historian and presenter of The Culture Show; Mehdi Hasan, author and Political Director of The Huffington Post; Lord Michael Dobbs, Conservative Peer and author of the House Of Cards novels; and Adam Boulton, Political Editor of Sky News.

Lancaster: Matthew Fort, Food and Drink Editor for The Guardian and Great British Menu judge; Ranvir Singh, Daybreak news presenter; Roger Ashton-Griffiths, actor; and Brian Clegg, science writer.