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23rd Dec 2016

Everyone’s pointing out this mistake from University Challenge presenter Jeremy Paxman

Universally challenged.

Tom Victor

University Challenge is in the middle of its Christmas run, which means celebrity contestants and – in theory – slightly easier questions.

But it’s tough to score points on the BBC quiz when even the presenter doesn’t know the right answers.

Jeremy Paxman is known for effectively turning into that teacher at school who you all hated, admonishing contestants for wrong answers as if they ought to know better, and scoffing at correct answers on popular culture questions as if to suggest he’s above that sort of thing.

So it would be really awkward if Paxman got a basic maths answer wrong.

Very awkward indeed.

uchallCity University alumni on the University Challenge special (photo credit: BBC)

During one of this week’s episodes, between City University and Newcastle University, Paxman asked contestants to give the Scrabble score for the word ‘Party’.

It’s not 17, as the City alumni guessed.

But it’s also not 11, as Paxman said in an attempt to correct them.

It’s three points for P, one for A, R and T, and four for Y, making a total of 10.

And plenty of people spotted the mistake.

By the high standards of University Challenge, this sort of thing is inexcusable. What on earth would people’s hero Eric Monkman make of it all?