Red faced Paxman is University Challenged
Published 03/08/2011 | 15:00
The BBC has been accused of cheating a Cambridge college out of a University Challenge win.
The programme’s presenter Jeremy Paxman told a student from Homerton College that he had incorrectly indentified a flag as that of the then newly-formed United Sates.
Mr Paxman cost the college a crucial10 points when he said the correct answer was the East India Company.
However, the flags were identical so either answer was correct.
The show was broadcast on BBC Two on Monday night.
In it, Mr Paxman asked both teams a picture round question, worth 10 points, in which they had to identify a red and white striped flag that incorporated the Union flag in an area in the top left hand corner
Cambridge Contestant Thomas Grinyer buzzed in with the correct answer of “the 13 colonies”, but Mr Paxman responded: “No, one of you may buzz from Oxford if you know.”
James Kirby, from Balliol, incorrectly guessed Canada, to which Mr Paxman replied “no”, before adding it was “the flag of the East India Company”.
The BBC insisted it was correct because later versions of the Grand Union flag incorporated 13 stars, making it different from the East India Company’s design, according to reports in Britain.