Friday, 24 September 2021

TV quizzer back on screen... but minus the hat

A WOMAN who became known for wearing a hat on University Challenge has taken part in another TV quiz show.

A WOMAN who became known for wearing a hat on University Challenge has taken part in another TV quiz show.

Marianne Fairthorne, from Shiplake, appears in a new series of Only Connect, which will be shown on BBC4 from Monday.

Each show features two teams of three who have to find connections between apparently unconnected clues.

Dr Fairthorne, 31, said: “It is a lateral thinking quiz. Most people think that it is quite difficult but I think it is slightly easier when you are there because you are in a team rather than trying to guess clues on your own.

“It was all filmed in one weekend so I had to take lots of different changes of clothes — about eight or nine — because they had lots of rules about what you can and can’t wear in case it strobes. The most people can be on is five times depending on how well you do.”

Dr Fairthorne, a mathematics software developer, said she was disappointed to find contestants were not allowed to wear a hat.

“I was quite upset by that but I think [host] Victoria Coren was on our side,” she said.

When she appeared on University Challenge representing the London School of Economics in 2009, she surprised viewers with her headgear.

Dr Fairthorne said: “What I wanted to do was wear a different hat in each round but you weren’t allowed to wear ones that shadowed your face or had a brim.

“Jeremy [Paxman] had a drink with us in the green room and he said that my hat was splendid. I just like hats. I generally wear silly hats — I have about five dozen.”

lOnly Connect will be shown on BBC4 at 8.30pm.

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