TV fame beckons for the Archdeacon of Leeds, the Ven Paul Ayers, who is a competitor on a special Christmas edition of the BBC’s University Challenge.
Hosted by stern quizmaster Jeremy Paxman, the programme to be screened on Monday, December 30, features former students from top universities who have achieved public status.
Archdeacon Paul read Theology at St Peter’s, Oxford and is in a team comprised of Gordon Corera (BBC Security Correspondent), Felicity Cloake (food writer, Guardian columnist);, and human rights lawyer and author Afua Hirsch.
“I was invited out of the blue by the production team - how could I say no?" said Archdeacon Paul.
“It’s a lot harder than it looks, and it looks really hard.
“It’s not only about knowledge, it’s about speed.
“We hadn’t met each other before, and there’s basically no rehearsal, you’re more or less straight on.
“It’s one thing to try to answer the questions when you’re sitting at home; it’s another thing with the cameras pointed at you under Jeremy Paxman’s gaze.
“But it was great fun, and I met some lovely people. It was very exciting, scary, stressful and a privilege.
“I can’t wait to watch it, because it was over so quickly it passed in a blur, and I can barely remember most of the questions.
“Please watch it with me and see if you can do better!" Said Paul, pictured far right in the line-up and also back in his student days.