Jump for Joyce after quiz win

Celebration: Paul Joyce (middle) with teammates
Celebration: Paul Joyce (middle) with teammates

A Chorley student celebrated in style, after helping his team to win a BBC2 quiz show on its 50th anniversary.

Paul Joyce, who is chairman of Chorley Community Housing (CCH), was one of four to represent The University of Manchester in this year’s University Challenge.

Along with history student Luke Kelly, biochemistry student Michael McKenna, and English literature student Tristan Burke, the Manchester team beat five Oxbridge college teams, including Pembroke College, to reach the winning post.

The class of 2012 won the final with its lowest score, earning 180 points against Pembroke’s 135.

It now means that the University of Manchester has won the competition, hosted by Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman, which was entered by 120 universities across the country, three times in just seven years.

Having kept the result a secret for so long, Paul was finally able to let his hair down on Monday evening, once the show had been aired.

With hundreds of supporters behind him, he watched the broadcast in student pub The Ducie Arms, in Manchester.

Talking to the Chorley Guardian at the event, Paul, 48, who did a Masters in Social Research Methods and Statistics, said: “It’s very good that we’ve won – I’m well chuffed.

“It was great fun to be a part of.”

And his teammate and friend, Tristan, 22, said: “It was very exciting. The Duchess of Cornwall presented our trophy, and she was lovely.

“The Duchess seemed to know quite a lot about the programme, and said she had enjoyed watching the final.

“The response around the campus from our fellow students has been lovely – I even get recognised in the Londis.”

The team was coached by Stephen Pearson, a university librarian, who captained the team himself in 1996.

He said: “There is always a lot of enthusiasm every year; we have at least 50 people each year who compete to join the team.”

The team’s achievement will be recognised with a celebration event at the university in April, hosted by the president and vice-chancellor Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell.