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Thursday 21 November 2019

University Challenge: 5 reasons why ‘useless’ Eric Monkman is still our hero

Eric Monkman on University Challenge
Eric Monkman on University Challenge
Eric Monkman on University Challenge
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Presenter Jeremy Paxman may have have branded one of his answers 'useless' but there's no denying Eric Monkman was still the star of Monday night's University Challenge final.

In fact, despite his Wolfson College Cambridge team losing by 50 points to Oxford's Balliol, it's safe to say he dominated the entire series.

The final saw him answer those starter questions like a man possessed but his one-man team was ultimately not enough to defeat the power of four headed up by Joey Goldman across the studio.

Here are five reasons why Monkman is still our University Challenge hero:

His intelligence

There is no doubt that Monkman, who graduated with a Masters in Econonomics, is a tad smarter than the rest of humanity. His ability to answer a starter question is unmatched and, quite frankly, awe-inspiring.

That face

Is there a contestant in the history of University Challenge who has been possessed of such intensity?  That unwavering stare, those facial expressions, that booming voice combined with a Frankenstein-esque haircut, those jumpers (perhaps there's only one?), starched collars - the man commands attention.

His self-deprecation

Halfway through the episode Monkman struggled to answer a question and Paxman roared, "That was a completely uselesss answer".  Monkman agreed with him. 

He also previously revealed that he had studied maths and physics at the University of Waterloo but said he "didn't have the mathematical aptitude for it".

His graciousness in defeat

Who was the first to applaud Balliol following their win?  Yes, Mr Monkman.

His excitement at standing in the vicinity of Stephen Hawking

Probably the most endearing moment in the history of University Challenge was Monkman's fanboy reaction to meeting Stephen Hawking.

Are these the worst quiz show answers of all time? 

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