On 28 January 1979 a team of students from Bradford University triumphed against Lancaster University in the final of University Challenge, 215 points to 160.
University Challenge is a notoriously difficult and fast-moving television quiz. Produced by Granada Television, the original programme was presented by Bamber Gascoigne and ran from 1962 to 1987. It was revived by the BBC in 1994 with presenter Jeremy Paxman (an honorary graduate of Bradford University) and is still running today. Contestants are usually university students although there have been series which used different formats.
The Bradford University team of 1979 boasted three postgraduate computer science students (John Watt, Mike Bradford, John Simkin). The other team members were Maxwell Cooter, an Interdisciplinary Human Studies student, and a reserve, Martin Lee, a postgraduate in Social Sciences.
The dominance of computer scientists apparently “amused and bemused” Bradford’s opponents, though in fact the three were studying conversion…
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