Special Kay

The BBC's cack-handed decision to scuttle the Oxford winning team on University Challenge (which included the best-ever contestant, Ms. Trimble) on a technicality, is both sad and mean-spirited; when considered in the light of the far worse offences perpetrated by the likes of Mr. Brand, it borders on the hypocritical. When even Ur-presenter Bamber Gascoigne weighs in, you know something is amiss. Basically, Mr. Kay entered the contest in good faith - as a student. The BBC, by failing to record all the shows during the school term, and failing to keep Mr. Kay informed of how this might effect contestants who had just recently graduated or left university, is partly responsible for his failure to entirely pass muster. However, whoever snitched was nasty, and whoever jumped at the Beeb and kicked the champions down is dim. They've snatched a defeat from a victory, and spoiled a feel-good story forever. In the process, they may just have ruined a once-timeless and quaint show, a remnant from a better, or at least more Larkinesque, Britain.

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