Written by Ellis Ian Fields
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Tuesday, 20 March 2012

image for University Challenge: Manchester Cruise To Title Probably not a Hereford. (Are we far enough off-topic yet? - ed.)

So is it a slap-up feast at Ilkley's fabulously and ridiculously expensive Box Tree restaurant for native boy Tristan Burke after he led his Manchester side to victory?

I've never been, Tris, despite living near for years, so if they do treat you, drop us a line let me know what it's like.

Manchester were hot on the buzzer from the start and once again a previously crack outfit, this time Pembroke, seemed unable to get going. Indeed, it was 155-50 with five minutes to go... but then they started to mount a come-back - you always feel that if the nervous energy-packed Ben Pugh can get going, Pembroke have a shout.

But it was just too much to ask and Manchester triumphed over the previously undefeated Pembroke 180-135.

Of course, this was filmed months ago so perhaps the biggest pat on the back should go to both teams for managing to keep schtum about who won.

Imagine trying to keep it to yourself in the Student's Union after several lagers!

And last week the as-yet-unheralded champs also had to put up with a gentle ribbing administered by the Manchester Evening News who set them a short quiz about the city and its university - they scored just 3.5 out of a possible eight.

So, it was off to Clarence House for an award presentation by the Duchess of Cornwall to mark the show's 50th anniversary.

Well done Manchester - worthy and entertaining winners.

*Despite Worcester College's demise in their semi-final, the letters concerning our coverage of their matches continue to arrive.

Mrs Elektra Blouse, of Alvechurch, writes: "Ms Lamborghini Film was well wide of the mark when she claimed feminist author Fay Weldon for Worcester (correspondence last week - ed.) 'As any fule kno' Ms Weldon was born here in Alvechurch and as much as Worcester folk may like to think their city is the be-all and end-all of Worcestershire, we county north-easterners would beg to differ. And anyway, we're nearer to Birmingham than we are to Worcester."

And Mr Derek Interesting, of Crewkerne: "I have been fascinated by this debate, prompted as it was by a misplaced play on 'Worcestershire,' which is actually the name of the sauce, and not the college.

"The recent history of the county is intriguing since it actually joined with its neighbouring county and became Hereford And Worcester under Redcliffe-Maud's reorganisation of local governmment in 1974 - clearly dropping the 'shire' part if its name.

"This state if affairs lasted until 1983 when in a kind of Velvet Revolution, Herefordshire split away again, to become a unitary authority in its own right and... (this goes on for pages - ed.)

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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