When I was asked to be part of the annual Christmas edition of University Challenge I said yes, before I’d really thought through what it would involve. I watched back a few episodes from last year and thought I wasn’t doing not too badly, especially in the science and popular music questions. But as I discovered, it was a whole different game when I was sitting in that chair, with the lights and Jeremy Paxman glaring at me.
University Challenge has become a much-loved British institution. The main show which runs throughout the year involves dozens of teams made up of the brightest and cleverest students from universities across the country. For the Christmas special, teams are assembled from willing graduates who are prepared to give it a go, mainly for fun. And it was fun, but also terrifying at the same time.
I met some wonderful people, including of course my team made up of the musician Wilko Johnson, poetry publisher Neil Astley and TV presenter Charlie Webster. And it was a great pleasure to go head to head with City University, in particular to lock horns with Samira Ahmed and Ramita Navai.