Playing spot a serial killer on University Challenge

LAWRENCE MURPHY: A worthy alternative to roasties?

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If you ever feel like you’re getting ahead of yourself and need taking down a peg or two, just turn on University Challenge on a Monday night.

I like a good pub quiz and used to do pretty well. But watching these super boffins is always good for making you feel like the school dunce.

You’ll have the chemistry students answering questions about llamas, or history geeks nailing questions about engineering.

How does someone even know so much abut llamas? How do they know so many random facts about things you’ve never even heard of?

Do they come in blind drunk after one too many snakebites in the Student Union and, whilst drifting in and out of consciousness on the sofa, the Discovery Channel is on in the background and somehow it’s all taken in sub-consciously?

If I manage to get more than three questions correct, I moonwalk all the way to the fridge and pop open the champers.

Failing miserably at answering the questions is only part of the University Challenge experience. It’s just as much about studying the contestants’ character.

There’s usually the foreign student with an unpronounceable name who knows more English words than 75 per cent of the UK population put together.

There’s the token mature student, who I assume the other members resent for taking up a space on the team.

Plus every week you’ll also be treated to an awful display of jumpers. I don’t understand this. Are people with high IQs pre-disposed to terrible dress sense?

The best bit, though, is picking out the future serial killer. Without fail, every week there will be one among the ranks.

They’re usually easy to spot. Obviously a very clever serial killer, who knows about llamas.

Whereas University Challenge is about finding the serial killer, there’s a programme on afterwards called Only Connect where the contestants take things to a whole new level.

Here, you match each contestant to a personality disorder.

I can tell you, we as a society are lucky none of the people on this show have picked up an assault rifle and gone on the rampage.