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Tuesday, 3 April, 2001, 12:08 GMT 13:08 UK
Imperial victory in TV quiz
winners with paxman
The winning team with quizmaster Jeremy Paxman
Imperial College are this year's winners of BBC Two's University Challenge contest - their second victory in five years.

In the final, the college's team beat students from St John's College, Oxford by 250 points to 195.

The winning team were:

  • Siegfried Hodgson, undergraduate studying for a MEng in computing
  • John Douglas, doing a PhD in engineering seismology and earthquake engineering
  • Gavin Estcourt, the captain, doing a postgraduate MSc in computing
  • Alexander Campbell, postgraduate studying for a MSc in science communication.

The fact that none of them is studying arts or humanities subjects did not affect the range of their knowledge, said the show's presenter, Jeremy Paxman.

"Those scientists were terrific - real proof that in some of the best places the world hasn't split into two cultures."

Spooky

Team member John Douglas said: "One of the most unbelievable things about the whole thing was that whatever we were discussing just before going into the studio came up as a question.

"For example, just before the final we were watching a rugby match in the 'green room' between the Edinburgh Reivers and some other team. We discussed what 'reivers' actually were.

"Then during the final, up popped a question about Border gangs in the Middle Ages which used to plunder. The answer: 'Reivers'.

"This was the only starter I got in the final and I have now got it framed on my wall and signed by Andrew Motion."

The poet laureate presented the winners with their trophy.

The Imperial team members were selected following a quiz last spring organised by Chris Harrison of Imperial's 1996 winning team.

Earlier in the competition they beat Cranfield University by 255 points to 80, Durham University - the champions from the last series - by 215 points to 140, Manchester in the quarter final by 225 points to 195 and Hull in the semi-final by 260 points to 145.

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