Why do University Challenge contestants go viral? – BBC News
University Challenge is, very simply, the most fiendishly difficult quiz reveal on TV.
Most of us can just about get a few questions right on Eggheads or The Chase – but few of us would have a chance against Jeremy Paxman.
With many of its onlookers totally flummoxed by the questions – perhaps it’s not surprising that the BBC Two quiz reveal tends to go viral for other reasons.
Namely, the aberrations of its contestants.
Eric Monkman and Bobby Seagull have been the breakout stars of the current succession( more on them in a minute ), but they’re far from the first to perceive renown on the reveal.
The invention of social media has given the programme a new rental of life and cured countless players develop their own cult following.
“University Challenge productions extremely well for this YouTube generation, ” remarks Tom Eames, elderly TV reporter at Digital Spy.
“One entertaining moment or investigate can be so easily shared on Twitter now – it’s the same when something rude happens on Countdown or someone makes a fool of themselves on Pointless.”
Eames envisages another reason the reveal has obtained a new public is how much more fashionable it has become to be super-smart.
“In the last few years, everyone enjoys calling themselves a geek or a nerd, even though in the real world they might not be, ” he said.
“Shows like The Big Bang Theory have recently abounded. So you when someone genuinely seems to have some geeky superpowers like Monkman, we like to large-scale them up.”
Ahead of this season’s final on Monday evening, let’s take a look back at a few of University Challenge’s viral impressions 😛 TAGEND
Eric Monkman and Bobby Seagull
The current succession recognized two players – both skippers of competitive squads from Cambridge University – find social media fame.
Monkman in paraticular inspired a brigade of online followers who linked themselves with the hashtag #monkmania.
His facial expressions and penchant to give reacts with an upward cadence prevailed him a home in the hearts of countless viewers.
He and Seagull each disappeared viral in their own right before they ultimately faced each other on screen in the semi-final, where Monkman narrowly perimeter victory.
“I would say Monkman is in the all time top five[ players ], ” The Independent’s James Rampton told the BBC.
“There’s a penchant in our culture to be very homogeneous, everyone must be cool, be good inspecting. But Monkman, I hope he wouldn’t mind me supposing, seems a bit of a geek.”
Monkman and Seagull, it subsequently transpired, were friends off-air and caught the train down to London together when they appeared on The One Show last month.
At this station we’d usually expect they be given their own TV reveal – but we’re pretty sure we’d never understand anything they were saying.
One of the most memorable University Challenge players of recent years was Gail Trimble, of Corpus Christi, Oxford.
She rebutted around two thirds of the questions on her own, earning more points than all three of her teammates combined.
Her achievements instantly caught the attention of onlookers, with countless intimating she used the smartest-ever contestant.
She was particularly favourite with a certain genre of men’s periodicals, who at one point asked whether she would ever consider a vocation change.
“My brother received a Facebook message from Nuts, supposing ‘Can we have your sister’s email address, we want her to do a tasteful shoot’, ” Trimble told BBC Breakfast.
“So he communicated them a written reply supposing ‘Seriously mate, would you send your sister’s contact details to Nuts? ‘”
The name might not ring a bell – but Ralph Morley was the bravest contestant of them all: the man who spoke back to Jeremy Paxman.
Here’s how the glorious exchange disappeared 😛 TAGEND
Paxman: “During the 20 th Century, who maintained its own position of prime minster of the United kingdom government for the…”
Morley:[ Buzzing in] “Margaret Thatcher.”
Paxman:[ Seeming shocked] “How did you know I was going to ask for the longest period of time?
Morley: “Well what else was it going to be? “
Audience: “Ooooooh! “
Paxman: “Okay well let’s see if you get these bonuses right. They’re on French region borders, you smart arses.”
We salute you, Ralph.
In 2015, Oscar Powell of Peterhouse, Cambridge made principles of facial expressions to a whole new level.
The Geological Discipline student, who looks a little bit like Michael Gove, had one of the most animated human faces in the history of human faces.
If he was struggling to answer a question, his jaw would drop, his look would scrunch up or his tongue would poke out as he tried to arrive at the answer.
After huge reaction on social media, Powell tweeted: “Yes, I know I’m odd.” But his fanbase continued to revel in his achievements declare their passion for him.
Eames remarks: “It used to be rare for regular beings to become famed off the back of a TV reveal, but the line between personality and non personality is so blurred now.
“Ten years ago, someone could is available on the programme but forget the fact again the next day, but that’s not the case anymore.
“As a solution, people who is available on depicts like this fall under the personality bracket, so there’s a potential for them to become fair game to viewers.”
Long before the latter are famed, some of Britain’s most marked brains obliged their first TV impressions on University Challenge.
Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, historian David Starkey, and general national rich Stephen Fry are among the quiz show’s alumni.
Actress Miriam Margolyes even claims her appearing on the programme in 1963 signal the first time anybody had ever said the f-word on TV.
In 2011, she told Graham Norton: “I got a question wrong, and I[ swore ], and they bleeped me out so you recognized my look[ supposing the word ], but good-for-nothing actually came out.”
Had Twitter been around in the 1960 s, we’re pretty sure that would’ve extended viral.
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