Come on Somerville College!

imageBelieve it or not, the University Challenge episode tomorrow night is the 37th of the series. The series seems to have gone on for several years. And there seemed to be about 13 quarter finals.

I realise that the final programme has already been recorded and sits somewhere on the BBC hard drives, with all involved sworn to secrecy. So going “Come on Somerville” is neither here nor there. In fact, the Cambridge lot in opposition are a fairly inspiring lot. But, in our household we have are very much Somerville supporters.

There’s Chris Beer on the right, who spits out answers on the most obscure subjects without blinking an eyelid. He correctly identified an Albert Camus quote about playing in goal in football. As someone who trawled through both the English and the French versions of “La Peste” with some enjoyment, Mr Beer has my great admiration purely for that.

But we have a particular soft spot for the captain, Michael Davies (as does Stephen Fry and assorted Twitteratti). He’s an excellent captain, consulting well with his colleagues before every answer. He has the most amazing breadth of knowledge, which he employs effortlessly. When the other side are in the ascendent, he is remarkably unflustered. He is remarkably cheerful throughout.

But most of all, we like him for his cheery side-to-side wave at the end! (Unfortunately the BBC iplayer snapshot above doesn’t do it full justice.)


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