63336 celebrates the golden jubilee of University Challenge
06 September 2012
Your starter for 10 (no conferring): what is the name given to the theme tune used for University Challenge? If you answered College Boy then you are correct and most likely a big fan of the most famous academic quiz on British television, University Challenge, which turns 50 this year.
Copied from an American show called College Bowl, University Challenge first opened its Manchester-based doors to erudite undergraduates in 1962, with the first show broadcasting on 21 September 1962.
The original host was a charming intellectual called Bamber Gascoigne. With his spectacles, history teacher jackets and rather bouffant hair Gascoigne was the perfect choice; known for his own personal high level of intelligence, he would check the questions beforehand and even re-write them if necessary.
Gascoigne ran the show from 1962 until 1987. Hosting duties were then taken up by the more caustic and inquisitor-like Jeremy Paxman when the BBC resurrected the show in 1994. Where Gascgoine had calmly coaxed flustering students into producing a correct answer and to buzz at the right moment, Paxman prefers a more impatient goading approach as he exasperates, "Oh do come on! " at nervous looking scholars.
This year celebrates the 42nd season in 50 years. Unsurprisingly, Oxbridge teams have done well, with 22 wins, although University of Manchester has won 3 of the last 7 series. University Challenge has featured contestants who achieved fame beyond the show: Stephen Fry was a member of the runner up team in 1980 and writers such as Clive James, Sebastian Faulks and Julian Fellowes also participated.
Desks adorned with mascots, starters for 10, gongs being banged, various amusing wrong answers and two perfect if completely contrasting hosts has made University Challenge the British institution it is today; and it still has that amazing ability of making you feel clever when you get one of the questions right.
63336, launched in April 2004 and the world's first premium text based question and answer service, is designed to answer – in minutes – any question sent via premium text or from the 63336 mobile app. From the start it has led the market in providing the fastest, most accurate, and most entertaining way to get answers to any question: from trivial, to tricky, to downright troublesome. Answers are provided by a highly–skilled workforce of home-based researchers, 95% of whom reside in the UK. The service is available 24/7, even when you're abroad.
Since the launch of the 63336 mobile app, asking questions has never been easier. To download the 63336 app for free, point your mobile browser to http://63336.com/a. Customers may also follow the 63336 twitter feed @the63336.
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