Home » University Challenge viewers blast BBC for team’s ‘unfair advantage’ – raging ‘there’s no even playing field!’

UNIVERSITY Challenge fans were outraged when the team from UCL appeared to have the upper hand.

University Challenge viewers were outraged by the age of the UCL team


University Challenge viewers were outraged by the age of the UCL teamCredit: BBC Two
Fans appeared most offended by team captain James Salmon


Fans appeared most offended by team captain James SalmonCredit: BBC TWO

On last night’s episode of the popular BBC Two show viewers accused the broadcaster of not creating a level playing field for the two competing educational establishments. 

Host Jeremy Paxman introduced the competing teams who were battling it out at the quarter finals. 

First was Jesus College, Cambridge who between the team members had the average age of 22. They also had an impressive average score of 195 per game. 

Their opponents, from UCL had an average age of 41 – which many viewers believed gave them an ‘unfair advantage.’ Their average score was 180 per game.

One viewer wrote on Twitter: “I’m ten years too old to be on university challenge and I suspect I’m younger than all of the UCL team…”

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The team were made up of Rachel Collier, who is studying for a PHD in History of Ancient Greece, Michael Fleetwood Walker who is doing an MSC in Urban Studies and Louis Collier who is completing a PGCE specialising in maths and physics.

Their team captain was James Salmon who is doing a masters in Planetary Science.

James appeared to be the eldest member of the team, although his age wasn’t revealed, and fans seemed to take the most critical view of him being allowed to compete.

One said: “I’m sorry sir but you are far too old to be appearing on University Challenge. You might have fooled the BBC but you can’t fool me.” Another added: “Looks like Einstein was on pretending to be Salmon. Definitely fishy.”

It continued, with another viewer who said: “Salmon is impressive,  but with age comes a lifetime of learning, it’s not a level playing field.” Another accused him of being staff at the university and said: “Unfair tonight on #UniversityChallenge Salmon on UCL team is surely a lecturer.”

The UCL team went on to win with 185 points, leaving Jesus, Cambridge behind on 115 points.

Jeremy told the teams: “Bad luck Jesus, you’ve got to come back next time and win and the time after that. UCL you’ve got to win the next time too.”

Both institutions have reached the University Challenge final before, but neither have lifted the trophy.

UCL won with a score of 185 points


UCL won with a score of 185 pointsCredit: BBC TWO

University Challenge airs Mondays at 7.30pm on BBC Two.

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