Newcastle University sailed through to the quarter finals of University Challenge with a convincing 215-130 win against the University of Southampton in the round of 16.
The victory comes after a somewhat lacklustre victory in the previous round, as they beat Sheffield Hallam 170-40, supposedly one of the lowest scoring bouts in the last fifteen years on the show. In contrast, Southampton racked up a staggering 280 points in their previous win.
However, those watching at home weren’t disappointed, as Newcastle upset the fancied side to reach the quarters. Spectators that assembled Luther’s Bar in the Students’ Union to support the team, featuring PhD student Adam Lowery, who is the latest in a long line of University Challenge contestants to attract attention for his unique dress sense and personality.
Following in the footsteps of Shah, Loveday and Monkman, Lowery has become a cult figure for his sharp suits and vague resemblance to Eddie Redmayne in Fantastic Beasts. However, on the night it was team captain and PGCE graduate Jonathan Noble that stood out, with a string of very impressive answers.
Lowery and Noble will be joined by medical students Molly Nielsen and Jack Reynard in the quarter finals, which they last achieved in 2015-16. Newcastle have never reached the semi-finals, but will have the opportunity to when they face the University of Bristol on 29th January.
Reaching the semi-finals may finally rectify the shame of recording the lowest score ever seen on University Challenge. That meagre total of 25 was achieved by Newcastle’s Christmas University Challenge team back in 2014.