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Last Updated: Monday, 28 June, 2004, 19:59 GMT 20:59 UK
Scots win in 'Paxo' challenge
Scottish Parliament and Welsh assembly teams in University Challenge
Scots on top and that was the way it turned out
Wales has lost to Scotland in a special edition of TV's University Challenge.

A team of Welsh assembly members went head to head with members of the Scottish Parliament and went down 115-70.

The Welsh team managed just 70 points in the BBC 2 programme, shown on Monday night.

The triumphant Scots had to contend with both the AMs and programme host Jeremy Paxman.

Liberal Democrat minister Jamie Stone, Labour MSP Richard Baker, Scottish Green leader Robin Harper and the Scottish National Party's Stewart Stevenson were the triumphant Holyrood squad .

We certainly did better than the MPs, which was one of our aims
Eleanor Burnham AM
Defeated Eleanor Burnham, a Liberal Democrat AM for North Wales, described it as a "very challenging experience" and one which showed the human face of politics.

"Of course we didn't want to mess it up, and wanted to do our best.

"We were thrilled to take part - although we wish we had had the practice the MSPs had.

Jeremy Paxman
Paxman is accustomed to politicians failing to answer questions
"They were nerds," she laughed.

The Cardiff Bay team also included Huw Lewis (Labour, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney), Jocelyn Davies (Plaid Cymru, South East Wales) and Nick Bourne (Conservative, Mid and West Wales).

Ms Burnham's main disappointment was the lack of questions on two of her specialist subjects - music and science.

A year ago four MPs were unceremoniously thrashed 215-25 by a team from The Times newspaper.

The MPs - who included Ms Burnham's Lib Dem colleague, Montgomeryshire MP Lembit Ípik - scraped to one of the worst scores in the programme's history.

"We certainly did better than the MPs, which was one of our aims," said Ms Burnham.

While making the programme was fun, she hoped it would also have a beneficial impact for politics in general.

"Why is politics so uninteresting to people, and they prefer things like Big Brother?" she said.

"We've got to show a human face."

And as a starter for 10, what did she make of Jeremy Paxman, better known for giving politicians a hard time in the Newsnight studio?

"What can I say diplomatically?" she said. "He was a very interesting chairman and very professional."

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13 Apr 04  |  Northern Ireland


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