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Viewers of University Challenge praise the Durham contestant after she has silenced her teammate with one hand

Viewers of the University Challenge are divided on the participant’s movement to use a HAND to silence her teammate when he tried to confer (but she just kept him from breaking the rules)

  • University Challenge contestant Holly Parkinson left fans of the show divided
  • At one point, she raised a hand to stop teammate Tom Wilkening from talking
  • Some viewers thought it was “rude,” but others said Parkinson’s was “magisterial.”
  • She kept him from breaking the starting question rule

Viewers of University Challenge remained divided over a moment in last night’s episode when a contestant raised a hand to silence her teammate.

Durham Brighton captain Holly Parkinson raised her hand to Tom Wilkening, from Ramsgate, to stop him from talking during a starter question about etymology.

The gesture turned out to be divisive, with fans describing it as ‘magisterial’ and critics claiming it was ‘rude’.

University Challenge students wade in to explain that it was finally done for the team. Conferencing is not allowed on “starter for 10” questions, so Wilkening could have been penalized for speaking.

The gesture was divided, with fans describing it as 'magisterial' and critics saying it was 'rude'

The gesture was divided, with fans describing it as 'magisterial' and critics saying it was 'rude'

The gesture was divided, with fans describing it as ‘magisterial’ and critics saying it was ‘rude’

Durham Brighton captain Holly Parkinson raised her hand to Tom Wilkening, from Ramsgate, to stop him from talking during a starter question about etymology in last night's episode (photo)

Durham Brighton captain Holly Parkinson raised her hand to Tom Wilkening, from Ramsgate, to stop him from talking during a starter question about etymology in last night's episode (photo)

Durham Brighton captain Holly Parkinson raised her hand to Tom Wilkening, from Ramsgate, to stop him from talking during a starter question about etymology in last night’s episode (photo)

Host Jeremy Paxman asked, “The English words kiosk, caravan and talk all come from what Indo-European language, the variants include Tajiks and Dari?”

Facing Leicester University captain Tom Purnell, from Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, gambled and answered ‘Turkish’ before Paxman answered the question, which cost his team five points.

Halfway through the question, biology student Wilkening leaned forward as if to whisper something to Parkinson’s, who is studying physics, and then meet her hand.

A brief glance passed Wilkening’s face as if he understood why he had been silenced, although many viewers missed the reason.

Host Jeremy Paxman asked, “The English words kiosk, caravan and talk all come from what Indo-European language, the variants include Tajiks and Dari?”

Facing Leicester University captain Tom Purnell, in the photo above, gambled and answered 'Turkish' before Paxman answered the question, which cost his team five points

Facing Leicester University captain Tom Purnell, in the photo above, gambled and answered 'Turkish' before Paxman answered the question, which cost his team five points

Facing Leicester University captain Tom Purnell, in the photo above, gambled and answered ‘Turkish’ before Paxman answered the question, which cost his team five points

Halfway through the question, biology student Wilkening leaned forward as if to whisper something to Parkinson's, who studies physics just to see her hand, pictured

Halfway through the question, biology student Wilkening leaned forward as if to whisper something to Parkinson's, who studies physics just to see her hand, pictured

Halfway through the question, biology student Wilkening leaned forward as if to whisper something to Parkinson’s, who studies physics just to see her hand, pictured

A brief glance passed Wilkening's face as if he understood why he had been silenced. Wilkening eventually answered correctly with 'Persian' and won the team by 10 points

A brief glance passed Wilkening's face as if he understood why he had been silenced. Wilkening eventually answered correctly with 'Persian' and won the team by 10 points

A brief glance passed Wilkening’s face as if he understood why he had been silenced. Wilkening eventually answered correctly with ‘Persian’ and won the team by 10 points

A tweeted: ‘What’s the #parkinsons problem with #wilkening? Will not look at him, will not consult with him … and only acknowledged him by hand! #princessprissypants #UniversityChallenge. ‘

Another reported: ‘#UniversityChallenge parkinson is so mean for pampering !! The hand!!’

Wilkening eventually answered correctly with ‘Persian’ and won the team by 10 points.

Commenting on the much-talked-about moment after the episode aired, Parkinson tweeted, “Holly later took to Twitter to clarify the move, saying,” You can’t consult starters. I knew he knew, so I didn’t want to risk losing points. ‘

Viewers of the University Challenge explained that Parkinson's only raised her hand to help the team

Viewers of the University Challenge explained that Parkinson's only raised her hand to help the team

Viewers of the University Challenge explained that Parkinson’s only raised her hand to help the team

She was supported by dozens of fans, who called her a ‘queen’.

One tweeted: “Parkinson politely shut down Wilkenson before he could consult with her on a starting question. She’s not a captain, she’s a damn queen. ‘

Another reported: “So obsessed with Parkinson’s small hand gesture to her teammate who told him to wait. masterly. #UniversityChallenge. ‘

Durham won the game 180-125. Next week’s game will take place between Linacre College Oxford vs the Open University.

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