University Challenge (lost episode of British quiz show; 1975)

From The Lost Media Wiki
Revision as of 07:44, 16 November 2022 by SpaceManiac888 (talk | contribs) (→‎Gallery)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

An image of The University of Manchester team that was involved in the protest.

Status: Lost

University Challenge is a ITV-produced BBC quiz show whereby different universities take part in a series of head-to-head matches in order to win an overall tournament at the end of the season. It has been airing since September 1962. During holiday seasons, especially Christmas, there are celebrity variations, usually when prominent faces in British society practice out a similar format to usually represent their universities, albeit these matches are one-offs.

In 1975, the team representing the University of Manchester protested against what they believed to be the over-representation of Oxford and Cambridge in the programme, (each Oxbridge college may have its own team, whereas non-collegiate universities only have one. For perspective, the universities have around 70 colleges between them.) and the exclusion of polytechnics and further education institutions from participation.

The team, including David Aaronovitch, later a well-known journalist, answered every question with the names of various socialist revolutionaries (for example, Leon Trotsky and Karl Marx), and popular figures. (eg. Marilyn Monroe) It is said that this was an attempt to make the programme unbroadcastable.[1] The recording was stopped several times, with the host Bamber Gascoigne urging the team to calm down and answer genuinely. They eventually obliged, going on to score 40 points.[2]

Despite its content, the show was still broadcast. Though, the production company responsible for University Challenge, ITV Granada, is said to possess no copies. This is evident in a documentary concerning the programme, which shows a reconstruction using extras, in a discussion of this episode. Several individuals online have claimed to be these extras, and claim that the original episode is lost, though other sources claim that small portions of the episode may still exist in ITV Granada's archives. It is also possible that amateur recordings exist, particularly audio recordings due to the cost of VCRs at the time.[3] Only a still photo of the Manchester team remains, as part of a newspaper article mocking the team. Manchester was subsequently banned from the programme until 1979.



A partial reconstruction of the incident.

See Also