Team of famous graduates from University of East Anglia triumph on University Challenge

Four famous graduates of the University of East Anglia put their Norwich education to good use this evening when they triumphed on a special Christmas episode of University Challenge.

The popular highbrow quiz has changed its usual format, of pitting teams of current students from universities against each other, to give famous graduates from eight universities a chance.

Representing the UEA were Irish novelist John Boyne, BBC journalists Razia Iqbal and David Grossman and actor, comedian and author Charlie Higson, who is best known as star and writer of The Fast Show.

The UEA is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and the quartet got those celebrations off to a good start by beating a team from the University of Birmingham, including MP Anna Soubry, by 195 points to 115.

Grossman graduated from the UEA in 1987 with a degree in politics and is currently a political correspondent for BBC Two's Newsnight, which is hosted by University Challenge host Jeremy Paxman.

Higson left the UEA in 1980 after studying for a BA in English and American Literature, Iqbal completed an American Studies degree at UEA in 1981 and Boyne, best known for writing the novel behind the film The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, graduated with a masters in Creative Writing in 1994.

The team now go on to the semi-finals, where they will compete against either New College Oxford, University of Liverpool or University of Glasgow.

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The semi-finals are being screened at 6.30pm tomorrow and Thursday.

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