Durham University’s team has won their second match in this year’s University Challenge, with 165 points to Edinburgh’s 145. The team must win one more match if they are to make the semi-finals.
Edinburgh took an early lead with their knowledge of the Korean Joseon dynasty, European political parties, anime and the 17th century philosopher Margaret Cavendish.
However, Durham regained ground, excelling on topics as diverse as Jane Austen novels, German cities, muscle and operas in English.
With just a few minutes left to go, Edinburgh led Durham by 145 points to Durham’s 130. However, late questions on US presidential elections and earth science gave Durham a convincing winning margin of 20 points.
Durham’s team is made up of Harry Regan (Liberal Arts, St John’s College), Thomas Banbury (History, Van Mildert College), Thomas Wilkening (Biosciences, Van Mildert College) and team captain Holly Parkinson (Physics, Van Mildert College). The team had a Van Mildert duck sat between them.
The team previously defeated Leicester University’s team by 180 points to Leicester’s 125 points in the first round.
This episode represented the first competition in the show’s history in which both team captains were women. The other three participants from each university were men.
Durham has reached the semi-finals in the last two series, but was narrowly defeated both times by Edinburgh University in 2019 and Corpus Christi, Cambridge earlier this year.
Since it first aired in 1962, University Challenge has been won by Durham on two occasions – first in 1977, and again in 2000.