BEND AN EAR TO perhaps the most deceptive theme tune ever. The delightful peal of the bells, the Grappelliesque swagger of the fiddle, indeed the sheer busyness of this up tempo number seems to promise a quiz show of high energy and whimsy. Yet despite BAMBER “ONCE WATCHED A MAN GET A COWPAT OUT OF A TUPPERWARE SANDWICH BOX” GASCOIGNE’s best efforts (most notably trying to use his hair to jolly things along), UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE is still simply just a load of wispy-faced would-be boffins trying to answer lots of reasonably dull questions as quickly as possible. Over the years, the show has brought us any number of moments that are forever repeated in TV clipfests, most notably a curiously cold, dead-eyd Stephen Fry caring too deeply about getting his question right, and that girl with the fringe, waistcoat and Deidre Barlow spectacles getting loads of questions wrong as part of the worst performing team of all time. When the series transferred to the Beeb after a successful one-off edition as part of a night of programmes about Granada Television, the services of the ever smiling BAMBER were dispensed with in favour of JEREMY PAXMAN, then right in the middle of his attempt to carve himself out as the JEREMY CLARKSON of news reporting. Consequently the once oft-used phrase “oh bad luck” has been replaced with various barracking remarks as PAXO tries to look hard by bullying a bunch of speccy kids.