Cardiff University student faces Jeremy Paxman on University Challenge

A STROUD student was on this week’s edition of BBC quiz show University Challenge. 

John Wimperis, from Chalford, who is studying for a Masters in News Journalism at Cardiff University, was one of the four contestants to represent the team. 

In Monday night’s episode Cardiff scored an impressive victory 230-50 against Coventry University, with legendary TV host Jeremy Paxman asking the questions. 

John correctly answered questions on the flag of Washington DC, the Renaissance humanist Desiderius Erasmus and the meaning of the French word coup, among others. 

Stroud News and Journal: BBCBBC

“I expected to find Jeremy Paxman intimidating but once the questions started it just felt like a normal quiz,” said John. 

“I’m really into news and was particularly excited to face Paxman. 

“After watching it back, I’m now worried I might have looked rude because everyone else looked at him as he asked the questions while I stared off into the middle distance trying to focus on what he was saying.

“The match was a great experience and something that nothing really prepares you for.

“We all had subject areas we tried to revise but there’s no way to know what will come up on the show.

“It’s a great feeling when Paxman has asked a series of impossible questions and then asks something which you just happen to know.

“I definitely felt like I got quite lucky because I lived in Amsterdam for a year and two questions on the Netherlands came up.


“I’m also just so glad I got to go through this experience with such an amazing team.

“Zoe, Will, Ella, and Rachel (who was our reserve, so wasn’t on screen but was just as much a part of the team) are all just great.

Stroud News and Journal: John Wimperis John Wimperis

“I’m still feel a little amazed I ended up on a team with them.

“I just search on Google for ‘Cardiff University Challenge tryouts’ one day because I was curious and it turned out they started that evening so I went along.”

Following their victory Cardiff University are through to the second round of the competition. 

This is the last season in which legendary TV host Jeremy Paxman will be in the famous chair. 

University Challenge airs at 8.30pm on a Monday night on BBC TV. 

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