Quiz fan’s triumph in University Challenge

University Challenge
University Challenge

A STUDENT triumphed in her first appearance on University Challenge.

Quiz fanatic Georgina Phillips, 20, appeared on the show as the only girl in team Downing College, Cambridge, who beat their opponents St John’s College, Oxford, 260 to 115.

Born and bred in Shoreham, Georgina has always enjoyed quizzes, and taking part in University Challenge was an aspiration.

She said: “I’ve always loved quizzes and general knowledge. I am part of a regular pub quiz team back home at the Toby Carvery in Worthing. I am also a member of the CUQS.

“I applied in first year and didn’t make the team and applied the second year and got in. Our college does a sit-down quiz to trial people and Downing always want one girl on the team and I was the best girl.

“To prepare, I watched endless episodes of University Challenge, did practice quizzes and participated and read questions for the Cambridge Intercollegiate Quiz Competition.”

Speaking about the day of the competition, Georgina said: For our first episode it was in the middle of term time, so I was more nervous about getting my essays done in time. We stayed over the night before so by the time it came to the quiz I was more excited than anything else. Once we actually started, I was much more relaxed, you are too busy concentrating to panic. Watching myself on television was quite surreal.”

As a student of geography, this is her strongest subject ,but she is also confident with films, history and random facts.

A knack for quizzes seems to run in the family as her father, Martin Phillips, of Steyning Road, Shoreham, is a regular at the Crown and Anchor pub quiz in Shoreham.

He said: “Georgina has upped the TV ante. I was on Changing Rooms with my then wife, Jenny Ventris with Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen and Linda Barker a few years ago.

“The general consensus seems to be that UC trumps CR. It’s good to see that the time spent doing pub quizzes hasn’t been wasted.”

The episode trended on Twitter and Georgina was directly mentioned more than a few times, much to her amusement.

Georgina added: “Jeremy Paxman seemed rather nice and I got to speak to him afterwards, everyone said he’d be terrifying but he seemed fine to me.

“It felt great to win, I was so happy to even be on the show, but for us to actually win an episode was great. We could hold our heads up high at college.

“The viewing had been an official freshers event and after I just went to the pub with my friends where we spent most of the time laughing over tweets.”

Proud mother, Jenny Ventris said: “When I think of all the very dubious TV programmes that young people can be involved in, today I am very pleased she chose that one.”