Book review: The University Challenge Quiz Book, Compiled by Steve Tribe

Nobody needs a starter for 10 to name one of the longest-running and most successful quiz shows on television...

Wednesday, 20th October 2010, 7:00 am

University Challenge first hit the airwaves in 1962 when Bamber Gascoigne took his place in the hot seat and opened round one of a British success story.

Originally screened by ITV, the fiendish quiz show was axed in 1987 but then revived by the BBC in 1994 with Jeremy Paxman firing the questions.

And the show has gone from strength to strength with a new generation of students showing off their knowledge and leaving thousands of admiring viewers bewitched and bewildered.

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So, if you think you are a match for those frighteningly clever future hopefuls fielded by our universities for the last 50 years, why not test yourself and your friends with this cornucopia of devilish questions.

The University Challenge Quiz Book has over 3,500 challenging questions, covering every aspect of history, science, language, economics, culture and more, and is guaranteed to put even the hardiest quiz veteran through their paces.

There are eight matches, with two rounds in each, plus four quarter-final matches, two semis and, of course, the grand final.

You might want to use this testing tome as part of a team or in a tournament, or you may prefer simply to dip in and out of it with your family and friends and enjoy some of Paxman’s cryptic comments which have enlivened the show over the years.

But however you decide to pit your wits, you can be sure it will sort the men from the boys and the women from the girls...

(BBC Books, paperback, £9.99)