More clever than funny...

Comics appear on University Challenge

A team of stand-up comics has taken part in University Challenge.

Simon Evans, Natalie Haynes, Paul Sinha and comedy club promoter Peter Grahame are to appear in the Professionals version of the show to be broadcast on April 1.

Grahame – who runs Downstairs at the King's Head in North London – put together the team after an on-air appeal for teams.

He said: ‘My wife, Sara, cajoled me into applying because I was always shouting at the TV during the show.

‘I rang a few comics to ascertain potential interest. Everyone returned the call within minutes - all keen to finally please their parents with a belated appearance on the perennial brand-leader for clever clogs.’

Test papers were sent to eight comics, and the final four selected –plus Dan Antopolski as a reserve. Stewart Lee and Nick Revell had to drop out because of touring commitments. ‘This was a blow,’ said Grahame, ‘as they are quite clever.’

He added: ‘I decided to use my real name, Peter Walsingham, partly in deference to pleasing my folks, but more importantly to gain an extra nanosecond to think if I pressed my buzzer.’

The show was recorded in Granada’s Manchester studios in December, where they were drawn against the Ministry Of Justice. That first-round clash will air on BBC Two at 8pm on April 1.

Published: 17 Mar 2008

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