On Monday, the BBC confirmed that Somerville Honorary Fellow and former Principal, Dame Fiona Caldicott, will appear on a special Christmas series of University Challenge. The episodes will air everyday on BBC Two from the 19th of December to the 2nd of January.
Over 50 prominent alumni from 14 universities and university colleges will compete against each other for the honour of being crowned Series Champions. Each team will compete in one of seven first round matches, after which the four teams with the highest winning scores will face each other in two semi-finals, with the winners then meeting in the finals.
Dame Fiona will first compete on Christmas day at 6.45pm for her alma mater St Hilda’s, alongside crime writer and broadcaster Val McDermid; author and journalist Daisy Dunn; and novelist and children’s writer Adele Geras.
In order to reach the semi-finals, airing on the 27th of December, The St Hilda’s team must first beat the Magdalene Cambridge team made up of co-presenter of the The Sky at Night, Chris Lintott; writer and broadcaster, Clemency Burton-Hill; director of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Mike Newell; and Professor of International Security at the University of Birmingham, Stefan Wolff.
Also representing Oxford in the Christmas special will be a team from St. Annes – also a former women’s college.
Peter Gwyn, executive producer, ITV Studios, said, ‘Once again, distinguished alumni from a range of different industries and disciplines will be coming together to test their general knowledge this Christmas, as they battle it out to try and lead their alma mater to the title and claim this year’s bragging rights.’
We wish Dame Fiona the best of luck!