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Starter for ten

Cardiff UC team

Postgraduate student Rod Lawford captained Cardiff University to a win over the University of Exeter on this week’s University Challenge.

Rod, who is awaiting the result of his MA in Music, Culture and Politics, joined fellow Cardiff students Eleri Evans (School of Mathematics), Sara Caputo (School of History, Archaeology & Religion), and Tom Parry-Jones (School of Journalism, Media & Cultural Studies) for the first round of the current series.

The team took on the University of Exeter and won with a score of 145 to 95.

Rod first met fellow team member Tom Parry-Jones at the University’s Graduate Centre where Tom was quiz master for a regular quiz night. Rod said: “Tom mentioned that a selection process was underway for getting a Cardiff team together for University Challenge so I thought I would apply. We had to take an individual written test initially,  and the final four were chosen under mock programme conditions.

“We then had to complete a further written test set by the University Challenge production team to actually get through to the programme. With all that, just being selected to appear on the programme is an achievement in itself!”

“Going to the studio to record the programme was quite daunting, especially with Jeremy Paxman’s reputation preceding him. It turned out to be a great experience though. I was initially very cautious during the first round of questions as I knew how important it would be to answer my first question correctly. Some members of my family were in the audience at the recording and told me afterwards that there were certain questions they knew I would have been answering immediately if I was just watching the programme at home.

“Surviving the first round was a great confidence boost for me. I knew I could start to enjoy the experience from that point on as everything that came afterwards would just be a bonus!”
The team is now through to the second round of the series and will appear on the BBC Two programme again later in the year.

This week’s episode is available to watch on BBC iPlayer: