Christmas University Challenge. Asking the questions, Jeremy Paxman. Hello. It’s been brought to our attention that in past years of this short and seasonal contest, some teams have shown a lamentable lack of confidence in their abilities by entering having already booked tickets for the pantomime on the evening that the final match is to be recorded, so sure have they been that they won’t get that far. Let’s hope tonight’s teams are made of sterner stuff. The three winning teams so far have scored between 140 and 195 so a winning score of over 195 means that that team will definitely appear in the semifinals. Christ’s College, Cambridge was founded in 1505, and its alumni include Charles Darwin, John Milton and tonight’s four – a businessman and former rower who won a gold medal in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. With him, the recipient of eight Emmy nominations and two wins for her work in drama productions such as Wolf Hall and Game Of Thrones. She’s also been responsible for inveigling unsuspecting people into cameo roles in the Bridget Jones films, about which the less said the better, I think. Their captain writes for The Guardian and The Independent, she’s judged the Man Booker Prize and what was the Orange Prize, and as a former stand-up comedian, she maintains that modern comedians steal all their jokes from Aristophanes, Martial and her personal favourite, Juvenal. Their fourth player has been a BBC foreign correspondent since 1998, with postings including Santiago, Jerusalem, Beijing and Istanbul. Let’s meet the Christ’s team. Hi, I’m Kieran West. I read economics, land economy and mathematics education at Christ’s between 1995 and 2001. I’m now a management consultant in the City. Hi, I’m Nina Gold. I read French and Latin at Christ’s and graduated in 1986. I’m now a casting director. And their captain. Hi, I’m Natalie Haynes and I read classics at Christ’s between ’93 and ’96. And I’m now a writer and broadcaster. Hi, I’m James Reynolds. I studied French and Spanish at Christ’s. I graduated in 1996. I’m now the BBC’s Rome correspondent. APPLAUSE The University of Essex is a mid-’60s institution near Colchester. Tonight’s team includes a man who attributes his success to a childhood spent playing board games and living in Hornsea, he now writes about Artificial Intelligence, designs virtual worlds and is a pioneer of multiplayer online gaming. You can see cause and effect. With him, a specialist in Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite and Romantic art, about which he frequently broadcasts, writes and lecturers. Their captain founded the publishing company X Press, which produces black fiction, and is a co-founder of Colourtelly, set to be Britain’s first general interest black internet television station. He also claims to have been London’s first black teddy boy. Joining them is a writer whose plays have been directed by, among others, Adrian Noble, Trevor Nunn and Richard Eyre, and by Danny Boyle in his adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – one of the first successes of National Theatre Live. Let’s meet the Essex team. Hi, I’m Richard Bartle. I did my BSc and PhD at the University of Essex in the 1980s, where I am currently Honorary Professor of Computer Game Design. Hi, I’m Rupert Maas. I am an art dealer in London. I’m one of the experts on the Antiques Roadshow. And their captain. Hello, I’m Dotun Adebayo. I got my degree from Essex University in 1987, in philosophy. I’m currently a radio broadcaster and book publisher. Hello, I’m Nick Dear. I graduated from Essex in 1977 with a degree in European literature. I’m now a playwright and screenwriter. APPLAUSE Well, you must all know the rules. The key thing to remember though is that if you interrupt a starter question incorrectly on your buzzer, there is a five-point penalty. OK. Right, fingers on the buzzers. Here is your first starter for ten. Viscum album has what common name? Containing its own chlorophyll, it’s a semi-parasitic plant associated both with the Druidic religion and with the Christmas season. Mistletoe. Correct. You get a set of bonuses, Essex, on theatre productions for Christmas 2015. In 2015, for the fourth consecutive year, the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith is staging an adaptation of a work by which writer? It follows Father Christmas as he wakes from a dream of sun, sea and sand on Christmas Eve. I’m sorry, we have no idea. It’s by Raymond Briggs. MAAS GROANS Due to archaeological excavations at York’s Theatre Royal, the 2015 production Dick Whittington And His Meerkat is being staged in the Signal Box Theatre within which national institution, also in York? The National Railway Museum. THEY CONFER The National Railway Museum. Correct. For Christmas 2015, the Birmingham Repertory Theatre is presenting a new staging of which story concerning four children evacuated during World War II to the rambling country house of Professor Kirke? The Railway Children. No, it’s The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe. Shocking. LAUGHTER Ten points for this. In September 2015, Wayne Rooney scored his 50th goal for England to become England’s all-time highest goal-scorer. Which player’s 45-year-old… Bobby Charlton. Correct. So you are off the mark, Christ’s. Your bonuses are lines from three poems about robins. The songbird, that is. Name the author in each case, please. First, from 1802. Art thou the bird whom man loves best The pious bird with the scarlet breast, Our little English Robin? Anyone from 1802? Keats? Keats. No, it’s Wordsworth. When winter frost Makes Earth as steel I search and search But find no meal, And most unhappy Then I feel. This poem was included in the 1917 collection Moments Of Vision by which poet and novelist? INDISTINCT CHAT INDISTINCT SPEECH – 1917.
– Yeats? Yeats. No, that’s by Hardy. His poem The Robin. And finally, a poem written in 1803 and published 60 years later. A robin redbreast in a cage Puts all heaven in a rage. UNCLEAR SPEECH Shelley. No, that’s Blake, from The Auguries Of Innocence. Ten points for this. William Sandys’s Christmas Carols Ancient And Modern was first published during the reign of which British monarch? His reign also saw the Slavery Abolition Act, and the passage of the Great Reform Bill. George III. No, one of you may buzz. William IV. William IV is correct, yes. APPLAUSE The bonuses for you, Christ’s, are on actresses in the James Bond films. Yvonne Shima and Michel Mok play Sister Lily and Sister Rose, henchwomen of which James Bond villain in the 1962 film directed by Terence Young? Dr No. – Dr No?
– Dr No. Dr No. Correct. Colonel Rosa Klebb is an antagonist in the 1963 Bond film From Russia With Love, and is played by which Austrian actress, noted for her performances in the works of Brecht and Weill? INDISTINCT SPEECH – Can I nominate you?
– Nominate Gold. – Lotte Lenya.
– Correct. Finally, in the 1985 film A View To A Kill, the role of May Day, the bodyguard and enforcer of the villain Max Zorin, was created for which recording artist and actress? – BOTH:
– Grace Jones. Grace Jones. Grace Jones is correct, yes. APPLAUSE We are going to take a picture round now. For your picture starter question, you’re going to see a word in a European language. For ten points, all you have to do is to identify that language. Finnish. It is indeed, yes. Well done. APPLAUSE You probably know what it means as well, don’t you? I’ve played games set in Finland. Joulupukki. It’s literally the Christmas goat, apparently. It’s the Finnish equivalent of Father Christmas, a figure with roots in an old Yule celebration in which people would dress in furs and goat masks and go from house to house singing and asking for food and drink. As one does. For your picture bonuses, you’ll see three more names of traditional gift-bringing figures. In each case, I want the language of the terms you see. Firstly, for five points. – Polish.
– Czech or Polish. THEY CONFER Go for Polish? It looks like Czech to me. OK, you are the captain. Czech. It is Czech, yes. Secondly. Portuguese? INDISTINCT CHATTER We’ll try Hungarian. No, it’s Icelandic. The Yule Lads. And finally… Dutch. It is Dutch, yes. APPLAUSE Right, another starter question now. Simisola, The Crocodile Bird, and The Speaker Of Mandarin are among the works of which author, who died…? Ruth Rendell. Yes, well done. APPLAUSE Your bonuses, Christ’s, are on scientific experiments. In an experiment conducted in Clapham in 1797, which scientists used a form of torsion balance to measure the small forces of attraction between lead spheres, thus determining the gravitational constant G? INDISTINCT CHATTER – Kelvin.
– Kelvin? Shall I nominate you? Nominate West. Oh, great(!) Lord Kelvin? No, it was Henry Cavendish. Secondly, at which physicist’s behest did Geiger and Marsden perform the gold foil experiments at the University of Manchester from 1908? The results led to the proposal of a model of the atom consisting mainly of empty space. Rutherford. Correct. In 1953, which two US chemists combined warm water with simple inorganic chemicals, and pulsed the mixture with electrical discharges? After one week they found simple organic molecules, thereby strengthening the theory of abiogenesis. Have you got any more on Ruth Rendell? We were happy with Ruth Rendell. I’m not going to lie to you. – It’s Urey and Miller.
– Meh. Right, ten points for this. Fingers on the buzzers. Listen carefully. Adopted from Polari and meaning to tidy, fix or improve an effect, the word zhoosh has what six-letter headword spelling in the OED? Z-H-O-O-S-H. Correct. APPLAUSE It’s always worth a punt, eh? Your bonuses this time are on sport. One of the five included in the ancient Greek pentathlon, which athletic event is based on an object with a design similar to the ancient pilum, used by Roman armies from the Republican period? Javelin. – Javelin.
– Correct. Also part of the ancient Greek pentathlon, which sporting event was portrayed in a notable bronze sculpture of the 5th century BC by the sculptor Myron? Now lost, it is known through several Roman copies in marble. Discus. Correct. Along with the two throwing events, running and a form of long jump, which other sport was included in the ancient Greek pentathlon? Wrestling? Wrestling? Wrestling. Correct. Ten points for the starter question. Concerning what he believed to be a mystical experience, Christmas Story – Venetian Letters Of 1876 to ’77 is a work by which English art critic, author of The Seven Lamps Of Architecture…? John Ruskin. Correct. APPLAUSE Right, your bonuses are on Christmas books of 2015. Herring under fur coat and fried eggs with jam are among the dishes that feature in a 2015 cookbook of the cuisine of which polity which ceased to exist in 1991? You’ve got me. Yugoslavia. I don’t know. Which ceased to exist after ’91. It could be. Yugoslavia. No, it’s the USSR, the Soviet Union. The Hangover, The Hipster and The Mid-Life Crisis are titles in a series of short books specially planned to help grown-ups with the world about them. Which children’s imprint do they appear under? INDISTINCT CONVERSATION Ladybird. Ladybird is correct. Illustrated by Dermot Flynn, The Wren-Boys is a work by which literary figure? Her previous seasonal poems include Mrs Scrooge and Dorothy Wordsworth’s Christmas Birthday. THEY CONFER Carol Ann Duffy. Correct. APPLAUSE Right, we’re getting to the music round now. For your music starter, you will hear a recording of a traditional Christmas song. For ten points, I want you to identify the artist singing, please. # Come, they told me Pa rum pum pum pum. # That’s David Bowie. – It’s not.
– Singing with… If I give the answer, can they not answer? Singing with… – Bing Crosby.
– It’s not David Bowie. LAUGHTER You can hear a little more if you want, Christ’s. # Our finest gifts we bring Pa rum pum pum pum. # Crosby. Bing Crosby. No, it’s Andy Williams. Music bonuses in a moment or two. In the meantime, here’s another starter question. Which two consecutive letters of the alphabet are the only two consonants in words meaning a blunder or faux pas, water droplets suspended in air near the Earth’s surface, and a leaf that is a symbolic… S-T. No, I am afraid you lose five points. ..a leaf that is a symbolic protector of modesty? You may not confer. LAUGHTER If you know, buzz. Uh… F-G. F and G is correct. Yes, all right. You are getting on a bit. LAUGHTER Not as far as I am, but there we are. F and G. Gaffe, fog, fig were the three words in question. So you get the music bonuses, you’ll be pleased to hear. Three more recordings of The Little Drummer Boy. Again, in each case I simply want the name of the artist or group singing. Firstly for five, this group. R&B MUSIC PLAYS # Come, they told me Pa rum pum pum pum # A newborn King to see Pa rum pum pum pum # Our finest gifts we bring Pa rum pum pum pum # To lay before the King Pa rum pum pum pum. # Destiny’s Child. Well done, yes. Secondly, this artist. SINGING IN GERMAN # Hoert ihr Leute Parampampampam # Kommt alle her geschwind Parampampampam # Zum neuen Koenigskind Parampampampam. # Marlene Dietrich. Correct. And finally, this artist. COUNTRY MUSIC PLAYS # Come, they told me # Our newborn King to see # Our finest gifts… # Johnny Cash. That is Johnny Cash. Well done, you’ve taken the lead. APPLAUSE Ten points for this. Which of Shakespeare’s title characters has a name that is the Greek meaning famous in her father? She’s a historical figure who died in 30BC. Cleopatra. Correct. APPLAUSE A set of bonuses on Shakespeare’s Hamlet for you guys. Simply give the well-known line or lines which immediately follow these words. First, what response does Hamlet hear to his question, “Madam, how like you this play?” INDISTINCT CONVERSATION Not very well at all. No, it’s Gertrude saying, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” In the final scene of the play, after Hamlet’s death, what five words come next in the lines of the English ambassador? “The ears are senseless that should give us hearing. “To tell him that his commandment is fulfilled, that…” I’m sorry, we don’t know. “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead.” And finally, in an exchange between Hamlet and the second clown, or grave-digger, how does Hamlet continue his line that begins “Let me see”? I only need the first three words. “I knew him.” No, I’m afraid it’s “Alas! Poor Yorick.” Which immediately precedes “I knew him.” Right, ten points for this. What acronym denotes the company founded in 1989, which is the largest extractor of natural gas in the world? Its share in the global and Russian gas reserves is estimated to be 17… Gazprom. Gazprom is correct, yes. APPLAUSE Get these bonuses and you will retake the lead. On the Queen’s Medal for Music, Christ’s. Firstly, for five. Five years before his death, which Australian became, in 2005, the first recipient of the Queen’s Medal for Music? He was the first non-British citizen to conduct the Last Night of the Proms. We don’t know. That was Sir Charles Mackerras. Which British composer was the recipient of the medal in 2007? Her operas include The Vanishing Bridegroom in 1990, and Bond Eckbert in 1994. We don’t know that either. That was Judith Weir. 2012 saw the Queen’s Medal awarded for the first time to an organisation. The recipient was which group, established in 1948 to advance the musical development of British teenagers? Can I mention how good it was when there were Ruth Rendell questions? LAUGHTER Just refer that back to you. What a golden time it was! – It was a golden time. A long time ago now though.
– I know! It was the National Youth Orchestra. Right, ten points for this starter question. In the standard dictionary spelling, which two letters appear at the end of the words poinsettia, macadamia and euphoria? A-I. Yes, the other way round, of course. I-A. APPLAUSE These bonuses are on culinary herbs as described on the website of the Royal Horticultural Society. Give the common name of the herbs described. Firstly, for five points. Anethum graveolens – an upright annual with finely dissected, aromatic blue-green leaves, and flat umbels of tiny yellow flowers in summer. THEY CONFER It’s kind of blue but I don’t know what the flower is. Rosemary. No, it’s dill. Petroselinum crispum – a bushy biennial with rich green, crisped, two-to-three-pinnate, aromatic leaves, and small yellow-green flowers in umbels in the second year. Sage. No, that’s parsley. And finally, what specific herb is mentha spicata – a vigorous rhizomatous perennial, forming an extensive colony of erect stems bearing scented, lance-shaped leaves, and small, light purple flowers in interrupted terminal spikes? Mint? Mint isn’t spiky, is it? INDISTINCT DISCUSSION Mint. Specifically what kind of mint? Peppermint. No, it’s spearmint. THEY GROAN Right… LAUGHTER We’re going to take a picture around again now. For your picture starter, you are going to say a painting. For ten points, simply identify the artist. Seurat. No, anyone like to buzz from Essex? Otherwise we’re moving on. Sargent. No, that’s Gustav Klimt. So, picture bonuses in a moment. Fingers on the buzzers. Here’s another starter question. What word follows antilopine, Eastern grey, Western grey and red in the common names of macropod mammals? A member of the last-named species appears on the coat of arms… Parrot. No. You lose five points. ..appears on the coat of arms of a major country of the southern hemisphere. Squirrel. No, it’s a kangaroo. Ten points for this. In computing, what generic seven-letter portmanteau term embraces infectious software such as Trojans, spyware, viruses and worms that typically infect… Malware. Malware is correct, yes. APPLAUSE Right, following the Gustav Klimt Tannenwald, or Fir Forest, which no-one managed to identify, for your picture bonuses three more paintings of Tannenbaum. Five points for each artist you can identify. Firstly, for five. No, we should move on. INDISTINCT DISCUSSION Sargent. No, that’s Monet’s Mount Kolsaas. And secondly, who painted this? I’m afraid it’s their set of bonuses! LAUGHTER THEY CONFER We don’t know. That’s Caspar David Friedrich. And finally… Van Gogh? No, that’s Edvard Munch. Winter Night. Right, ten points for this. Which art gallery on several sites takes its name from a collection of essays by the Irish artist Brian O’Doherty, who argued that the blank, neutral spaces of modern galleries were themselves “the archetypal image of 20th century art”? White Cube. White Cube is right. Yes. APPLAUSE You get a set of bonuses on geology this time, Essex. Calcium magnesium carbonate is a major constituent of which form of limestone? It shares its name with a mountain range in north-east Italy. Dol-o-mit-es, as they say. Dolomites is correct, yes. No need to show off. LAUGHTER The carbonate mineral smithsonite is, along with sphalerite, a major ore of which metal in group 12 of the periodic table? Aluminium? Aluminium. No, it’s zinc. The mineral siderite is the carbonate of which metal in group 8 of the periodic table? Copper. No, it’s iron. I thought you were working it out there. – I was working out…
– That’s what you said. That’s what happens when you get older, I’m afraid. LAUGHTER Most of the audience are with you though. Right, ten points for this. Characters including Minced Pie, Wassail, and Carol were created by which dramatist and poet for The Masque Of Christmas, first performed at the Whitehall Court of James I in 1616? Ben Jonson. Correct. APPLAUSE Your bonuses are on TS Eliot. A cold coming we had of it, Just the worst time of the year For a journey, and such a long journey. In the poem by Eliot which opens with those lines, who is making the journey? THEY WHISPER Nominate Nick Dear. The Three Wise Men or the Magi. The Magi is correct. Yes. Over several years, Eliot contributed poems to a series published by Faber which he said were intended “as a kind of Christmas card.” By what collective name are these poems known? Nominate Dear. Old Possum’s Book Of Practical Cats. No, they’re Ariel Poems. The Ariel Poems. Which of Eliot’s Ariel Poems draws from Shakespeare’s play Pericles, and has as its title the name of Pericles’ long-lost daughter? I’m sorry, we don’t know. It’s Marina. Ten points for this starter question. Denoting a physical characteristic, what five-letter appellation links Francois Rabelais’ Pantagruel, John Bunyan’s Despair, and Mimas and Enceladus in Greek mythology? Giant. Giant is correct. Yes. APPLAUSE Your bonuses are on former Bank of England notes. In each case I need the name of the person described and the denomination of the banknote on which they appeared. Firstly, a military figure and politician born in 1769. The banknote on which he appeared was issued in 1971, and withdrawn 20 years later. Duke of Wellington. £5 note. Correct. Secondly, a social and medical reformer born 1820… GONG And at the gong… Christ’s College, Cambridge have 90. University of Essex have 140. Well, Christ’s, you were doing pretty well early on. You were very, very good on Ruth Rendell. LAUGHTER Unfortunately, your knowledge seemed to be spread more than thinly, I thought. Anyway, Essex, 140 is a great score. That is up there currently as one of the four highest winning scores. We’ll see if anyone gets a higher winning score in the next matches. Thank you all very much for playing. You didn’t have to do it. I hope you can join us next time for another first-round match, but until then, it’s goodbye from Christ’s College, Cambridge. – ALL:
– Goodbye. – It’s goodbye from Essex University. ALL:
– Goodbye. And it’s goodbye from me. Goodbye.