Bourne school friends do battle on University Challenge

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TWO academics who attended Bourne Grammar School battled it out in the semi-finals of a television programme.

Will Cudmore, representing Magdalen College Oxford, and Louise Howes, from Peterhouse College Cambridge, were tested on their knowledge on University Challenge on BBC2 on Monday night by host Jeremy Paxman.

Magdalen turned out to be the stronger team and, after an exciting match, emerged victorious. Now Will will be in the final against York University on Monday.

Will, 23, who studied English at Magdalen College, Oxford, is excited to have got into the final and said: “It is obviously very daunting, and quite a challenge too.

“I do think we are a really good team, so I’m confident we can put in a good performance.”

He used to live in Meadowgate, Bourne, but has now graduated and lives in Kentish Town, London, and works in the House of Commons as a researcher for MP Nick Herbert, who is the Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice.

Will was in the year above Louise at school but they still knew each other quite well as they were in drama productions together. He said: “It was funny how it turned out with us being in opposing teams in the same semi-final.”

Will was pleased his team won but said: “Louise was a credit to her team.”

Louise, 22, of Station Street, Rippingale, said despite not getting to the final she had an amazing time taking part. She said: “It was something of a childhood ambition come true.

“Obviously I’m sad that we came so close to the final, only to be knocked out, but I never expected us to do this well.”

Louise, who is still studying at Peterhouse, said having Will in the competition with her was initially strange.

She said: “When we finally went head-to-head in the semi final, it was a very strange yet a proud moment to hear both of us say we were from Bourne in Lincolnshire.”

Louise is pleased for Will to have got into the final. She said: “I would have quite liked to have been the best from Bourne in the competition, but Will and his team were deserving winners, and I’m glad I lost to someone I like.

“My team and I wish them the best of luck for the final.”

Louise thanked everyone who supported her. She is now focusing on finishing her combined bachelors and masters in astrophysics.

She added: “I’ll be starting a PhD in the autumn in Australia.”