University challenge

One of the stranger competitions between universities occurs between July and April every year, weekly on BBC2, usually on a Monday. It is presented by Jeremy Paxman.

University Challenge is one of the toughest quizzes on TV and universities fight it out for the prize of winning the university challenge trophy.

Each union of a university or college (in the case of Oxbridge) is written to by Granada TV who produce it. Many universities can produce a team through anyway they prefer, although most of the most successful universities run selection quizzes.

The winning team of four has to fill in a form and answer some questions. They are then interviewed and the top 28 out of the 200 have applied are selected to appear on the TV Series.

There are 14 first round matches. The winners go on to the second round, whilst the 4 highest scoring losers play against each other for the last two places.

After this it is a straightforward knock out, with the winners of the second round matches going through to the quarter finals. Winners of the quarter finals move into the semi finals and and so on to the finals.

Structure of the show

The questions start with a starter. The answer must be answered on the buzzer and with no conferring between the team members. This gains 10 points for the team. A contestant can interrupt the quiz master by buzzing in with an answer, but if that answer is incorrect, 5 points are deducted. If the quiz master finishes the question, an incorrect answer scores nothing and the question is offered to the opposing team.

If the starter is answered correctly, the team is asked three bonus questions, where each correct answer gets 5 points. Teams can confer during these questions.

A quarter and three quarters of the way through the show, there are picture rounds. Half way through there is a music round. If the starter is answered incorrectly, the bonus questions are held over until a starter is answered correctly.