Ulster University is to make its first ever appearance on the cult television quiz show “University Challenge” on Monday next, July 17th at 8.00 p.m. on BBC 2.
The newcomers Ulster will face Edinburgh University in the very first episode of the new series.
The Ulster team is drawn from all four Ulster University sites – Belfast, Coleraine, Jordanstown and Magee – and is made up of their Captain Iain Jack, who hails originally from Peterhead, Scotland and is studying Pharmacology, Cathal McDaid from Co Donegal, who is studying Literature, Catherine Ritchie from Co Armagh, who is studying Fine Art and student of Education, Matthew Milliken, from Co Down. All of the team members are mature students.
In marked contrast to Ulster’s inexperience in the competition, Edinburgh University have featured in 16 of the last 23 series of the popular programme and reached the semi-final stages in 2016-2017. To progress further in the competition the Ulster team will have to overcome not only a stern test from their Scottish adversaries but also the reputation of the show’s long-term host, Jeremy Paxman, whose withering rebukes and capacity to ask difficult questions have left many experienced politicians quaking.
Team member Matthew Milliken said that he was undaunted by Paxo. ‘I’m sure he’s just a pussycat really,’ he said. ‘I’m more concerned about our opponents, Edinburgh. Obviously, we want to get as far as possible in the competition but this is a big first hurdle. Unlike some other game shows there’s no financial incentive to do well, it’s all about pride. We are immensely proud to be representing Ulster University and we will do our level best to make the university proud of us.