A Cambridge college has been crowned champions of TVs toughest quiz show.
The team from St Johns College beat Oxford University's Merton College in the 2018 final of University Challenge tonight (April 23).
St John's scored 145 points to Merton's 100, making a impressive comeback from going behind early on.
The four students were losing 55-0 before powering back into contention in a tight contest, with several key interventions by Rosie McKeown.
Its the first time a team from Johns has won University Challenge since it began airing in 1962.
Teammates Rosie McKeown, Matt Hazell, John-Clark Levin and their captain James Devine-Stoneman were congratulated on their performance by the show's host Jeremy Paxman.
Tonight's final concluded with the young team, with an average age of 23, lifting the University Challenge trophy at the end of the show.
On Twitter Cambridge fans celebrated the St John's victory.
The college's official account praised its students saying: "You were brilliant from start to finish, and we're all very proud of you."
Bobby Seagull, a semi-finalist captain in last year's competition for Emmanuel College, Cambridge, also congratulated the winning team.
His performances against alongside Eric Monkman, captain of Wolfson College in 2017, became an interest sensation last year.
Several watchers of the final singled out Rosie McKeown for her stellar performance.
"What a performance by McKeown on University Challenge getting 8 out of 10 starter questions correct, well done Cambridge," wrote George Kirkman.
"Mckeown was on fire!" commented Alan O'Neill.
Matthew Kay simply said: "And the winner of University Challenge is McKeown."
Gracious in defeat Merton College tweeted: "Alas! It was not to be. Huge congratulations to @stjohnscam on a superlative performance, and a richly deserved victory."
Who are the team?
The four-strong St Johns team have all been profiled on the college website.
James Devine-Stoneman, team captain
Subject: PhD in Materials Science (superconducting spintronics)
A fan of the show since childhood, James was nominated as team captain during the selection process, and has led the team ever since.
He said: “It was important to ensure that the team could cover a broad range of questions thrown at us.
"Rosie had the highest score of anyone on the written test and was very strong on English literature, John-Clark is very good on military history and Matt swung it for me with his mental arithmetic skills.”
But as captain one of the hardest thing about the show is making snap judgements under pressure.
He said: “You have to decide who on your team is most likely to know the answer – you dont want to buzz and get it wrong, when someone else could have known the answer, and on the other hand you dont want to stay quiet if someone else then gets the answer wrong”.
Subject: French and German
The first-year student always dreamed of appearing on the show, and was delighted to make the grade so early in her university career.
She said: “I brushed up on my areas of expertise – literature, history and word puzzles – by watching reruns of the show and trying to answer the questions before the contestants.
“But I think whatever happens on the day of filming its important just to have fun and treat it as a really good quiz.”
Each team on University Challenge is allowed a mascot for good luck so the St Johns team tracked down a large stuffed toy eagle and named her Maggie.
However, Maggies spot on the team was jeopardised by the University Challenge crew and their fear of product placement.
Rosie said: “They told us that Maggie was a collectors item and wasnt allowed to be on show, so she sat behind our desk the entire time giving us moral support.”
Subject: Veterinary Medicine
Filming for the show took place while the would-be vet was cramming for his finals.
His areas of expertise include animals, biology, medicine and sports – particularly football.
“University Challenge really likes to throw curveball questions at you that are designed to confuse,” he said.
“The trick is to discard the parts of Jeremys questions you dont know anything about!”
So what was Paxman really like? “We had a nice chat in the lift,” Matt reveals.
“His was pretty grumpy when we first started filming because hed already done four filming sessions a day for three days, but his grouchy comments improved throughout the day.”
Subject: PhD in Politics and International Studies
As an American John-Clark wasnt as familiar with the show as the others, but said he found the experience went by in a blur.
He said the production staff and other teams on set were all extremely friendly, but what of the Paxman?
“Oh he has a fearsome reputation, but hes actually a bit of a ham”, he said.