I learned many things in 2012. Not least, that appearing on University Challenge feels very similar to piloting a light aircraft down a tight glacial canyon in Greenland. Fortunately, we won our Christmas special edition match, beating Loughborough in a tie-breaker.
The other thing I learned during the making of the programme reminded me of that old saying, ‘Never judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.’
Sat at home I had, like many others, fallen into the belief that quizzes like University Challenge are all about knowledge. General knowledge is very important, but it is far 100% of what is being asked for. I learned, through trial and error – yes I got a few right and one or two wrong too – that timing is actually what is being tested in lots of the questions.
It is a more strategic game than it appears. And I know that, partly because the timing of one of my answers nearly started a fight with the opposition. I’m joking, almost completely joking. I will say no more, because I suspect that honour is one of the other things being tested in these situations.