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Imperial wins BBC's University Challenge

For Immediate Use
2 April 2001

Imperial College has won BBC2's University Challenge for the second time in five years.

The team beat St John's College, Oxford in the final by 250 points to 195. The trophy was presented to them by Poet Laureate Andrew Motion.

The successful team members are: Siegfried Hodgson (Undergraduate studying for a MEng in Computing); John Douglas (Postgraduate studying for a PhD in Engineering Seismology and Earthquake Engineering); captain Gavin Estcourt (Postgraduate studying for a MSc in Computing) and Alexander Campbell (Postgraduate studying for a MSc in Science Communication)

Viewers of the series have also seen the team beat Cranfield University by 255 points to 80, Durham University (last series' champions) by 215 points to 140, Manchester in the quarter final clash by 225 points to 195 and Hull in the semi-final by 260 points to 145.

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

Following an interview with programme-makers Granada, which included a selection quiz of 40 taped questions, the team was chosen as one of 28 to compete in the show out of more than 200 applicants.

For further information please contact:
An image of the team is available on request

Abigail Smith
Imperial College Press Office
Tel: 020 7594 6701/2

Notes to Editors:

1. Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine is an independent constituent part of the University of London. Founded in 1907, the College teaches a full range of science, engineering, medical and management disciplines at the highest level. The College is the largest applied science and technology university institution in the UK, with one of the largest annual turnovers (UKP339 million in 1999-2000) and research incomes (UKP176 million in 1999-2000). Web site at