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Tuesday, December 22, 1998 Published at 11:22 GMT


Youth wins the day in University Challenge

Magdalen College, Oxford: Two-time winners

University Challenge, BBC Two's long-running quiz show, has proved that academic standards are not slipping - by pitting two teams at least a generation apart.

The winners, Magdalen College, Oxford narrowly took the prize from Leicester University, the team that won the first title 35 years ago.

[ image: Leicester in winning form in 1963]
Leicester in winning form in 1963
The new kids on the block proved that today's academics are at least as clever as those of the past by winning 220 to 145.

Magdalen are the BBC Two show's current title holders and in April of this year became the first team to win a second consecutive title for their college.

After a slow start the same Leicester contestants who competed in - and won - the first series in 1963, reached the halfway stage in the lead.

[ image: Older but not necessarily wiser in 1998]
Older but not necessarily wiser in 1998
But Magdalen pulled back in the final stages to achieve their winning score.

Question master Jeremy Paxman said: "It was evenly matched right up until the last few minutes."

And the show's host - not known for his charitable comments towards the teams - told the winners that they had showed how students were indeed able to hold their own against the academics of past years.

"You demonstrated you can hold your head high with any previous generation no matter what old fogeys may say about students not knowing anything nowadays. You clearly do, you're a terrific team."

The line-up of the teams was:
Leicester University - Geoffrey Ford (Geology, now a university librarian in Bristol), John Hewitt (history, now an art history lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University), Madalene Moore, née Hall (English, retired), Oliver Andrew (Post-graduate Certificate in Education, retired).
Magdalen College, Oxford - Sarah Fitzpatrick (Modern History and English), Alex De Jongh (Modern History), Phil Jones (Physics), Paul O'Donnell (Philosophy, Politics and Economics).

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