“Absolute box office!” University Challenge contestant leaves fans overwhelmed with heartwarming reactions – as two Cambridge teams go head-to-head in the quarter-finals
University Challenge viewers enjoyed a particularly animated performance by the Cambridge University Intelligence Fund in the programme’s final episode, dubbed “perhaps the most fun contestant on the show ever”.
The Monday night portion of the BBC2 competition saw a battle for home pride, with Cambridge Newnham College taking on Cambridge Jesus College… only for a spirited Newnham to pull off an easy victory.
Those who tuned in to the second round of the Academic Quarterfinals — Jeremy Paxman’s final streak at the helm — loved English student Bethan Holloway-Strong’s expressive reactions as she helped guide her team to an impressive 215 to 115. on points, eliminating Jesus College from the competition.
Her knowledge of musical theater was particularly strong. Her correct answers to songs from shows such as The Music Man and A Chorus Line helped Newnham, Cambridge Women’s College, edge out its competition.
Throwing her hands up in joy after Paxman confirmed the correct answers, she also laughed when the host admitted that he enjoyed the team’s discussion of what answers to give.
English language student Bethan Holloway-Strong, who describes herself as being from Surrey and Australia, won legions of fans with her animated look at the University Challenge.
The student, who describes herself as from Surrey and Australia, is studying for a degree in English at a prestigious university.
She won a lot of fans on social media as the series progressed. One of them, Andrew Jazy, described her as ‘perhaps the most delightful University Challenge contestant ever. It’s nice to see him.
@JChatfield94 added: “Holloway-Strong brings so much joy and enthusiasm to this competition. Long may Newnham stay in it.
KDCunliffe added: ‘Holloway Strong is an absolute box office hit. What a joy to see.’
The facial expressions continued… along with the correct answers as Newnham Cambridge beat rivals Jesus College
Jeremy Paxman, who is set to step down as host of the show, sympathized with the losing team with “Bad luck, Jesus.”
Paxman admitted that he enjoyed debating Newnham on the musical theatre’s tour
Holloway-Strong’s correct answers to songs from shows like The Music Man and A Chorus Line helped Newnham edge out its competition.
The team secured its victory in the elimination round, heading into the semi-finals of this year’s series
He shoots his last episode in the fall and his final series ends in the summer.
Paxman, who He announced in the summer that he would be stepping down as host of the show after 28 years, ending his reign as the current longest-serving Test holder on UK TV, on good form, sympathizing with the losing team with ‘bad luck’, Isa.
The 72-year-old, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease last year, has presented the show since the BBC revived it in 1994.
The journalist and broadcaster said: ‘I’ve enjoyed hosting this amazing series for almost 29 years.
I’ve been fortunate enough to work with an amazing team and meet some of the hottest minds in the country. It gives me hope for the future.
In June 2014, Mr Paxman left the BBC’s current affairs programme, Newsnight, after 25 years as its presenter.
He revealed in May last year that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease after his doctor saw him at the University Challenge during lockdown.
The veteran broadcaster said he has had regular falls, including one that left him with a “black eye,” and admitted that “it’s very hard knowing you’re not going to get better.”