The show’s 50th final will take place on Monday night (05/04) Nguyen Dang Hoang Nhu/UNSPLASH

The University Challenge team from Magdalene College will take on the University of Warwick in the television show’s final on Monday (05/04) evening as its 50th series draws to a close.

The team’s place in the final of the UK quiz show, hosted by Jeremy Paxman since 1994, was confirmed following a victory in the last of the semi-finals against Balliol College, Oxford, last night (29/03), with the team leaving with 270 points versus Balliol’s 50 points.

Meanwhile, the Warwick team took on Imperial College in the first of the two semi-final matches last week (22/03), winning with a 25 point margin.

The Magdalene team consists of Adam Davies, James Byrne, Ceri Payne, and Daniel Lawson as their captain.

In an interview on the College’s website, team members described that their mascot was a small bear wearing one of the College’s scarves.

This will not be the first time that the two teams have gone head to head during this series: the two teams competed against one another in one of Magdalene’s three quarter-final games, where the Warwick team was victorious by a 40 point margin, with 200 versus 160.

This was the only game that the College’s team has not won so far this season, while Warwick has won every game played.


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As a consequence of the pandemic, filming for the show took a six-month hiatus in 2020, with contestants separated by perspex screens and using ear-pieces to prevent the screens from impairing teammates’ abilities to hear one another.

Since the show began in 1963, teams representing the University of Warwick have won once, in 2006, while Magadalene was runner-up in 1978. A representative team has not yet won the show.

Neither of the teams are among those from the 10 universities and Oxbridge colleges, which include both Trinity (3) and Sidney Sussex (2), that have won a series the highest number of times.

Between 1962 and 1987, the show was presented by Magdalene alumnus Bamber Gasciogne, who matriculated in 1955.