Christmas University Challenge

4th December 2019

News, Student news, Alumni news

We’re proud and excited to announce that a Wadham alumni team is competing in this year’s Christmas University Challenge.

  • The Wadham alumni University Challenge team

Update: Congratulations to the Wadham alumni team on reaching the Christmas University Challenge Final against the University of Leeds. Despite the best efforts of the Wadham team, victory went to Leeds in an entertaining and exciting final. Watch on BBC iplayer here:

On BBC 2 from Monday 23 December the Wadham team of Anne McElvoy (Captain), Jonathan Freedland, Tom Solomon and Roger Mosey will be answering questions posed by the show’s host, Jeremy Paxman.

Announcing the competition on twitter, Tom Solomon wrote: “'Twas the night before Christmas & all through the house not a creature was stirring except for that attack dog Paxman, whose bite was definitely worse than his bark. Delighted to be on Christmas #UniversityChallenge.”

Anne McElvoy tweeted “Things we do for Christmas…#UniversityChallenge a few years after my years @wadhamoxford.”

Roger Mosey added: "This could be one of the Christmas comedy highlights..."

After seven first round matches the four highest-scoring winning teams go through to the semi-finals with the series running until 3 January. Please check BBC listings for the date and time that the Wadham team will complete.

Warden of Wadham College, Ken Macdonald QC said: “Wonderful to see our alumni taking part in this festive University Challenge - whatever the results we are very proud to see them representing our great College. Good luck from us all!”

Meet the team

Broadcaster and Journalist Anne McElvoy (Philosophy & Modern Languages, 1984) is The Economist Senior Editor and Head of Ecomonist Radio. A regular newspaper columnist and radio presenter Anne presents the BBC arts and ideas programme Night Waves and is a regular panellist on the BBC Radio 4 Moral Maze. 

Jonathan Freedland (PPE, 1986) is a Guardian columnist, a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books, a columnist in the Jewish Chronicle and presents BBC Radio 4's The Long View.. In 2014 he was awarded the Orwell special prize for journalism. His books include seven thrillers written under the pseudonym Sam Bourne.

Roger Mosey (History & German, 1976), author and broadcaster, is Master of Selwyn College and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge.  Following a long and distinguished career at the BBC Roger continues to write for leading international newspapers. Roger was a member of Wadham’s 1978 College University Challenge team, although he admits that the performance was not particularly memorable.

Professor Tom Solomon (Medicine, 1984) is Chair of Neurology and Director of the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections at Liverpool University. His fundraising ‘Running Mad Professor’ video on YouTube has attracted some 22,000 hits.