Jeremy Paxman jokes with Imperial College’s Brandon on University Challenge

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‘Sorry for making it so easy!’ Jeremy Paxman jokes with Imperial College’s Brandon during stunning University Challenge performance – and fans say the American will ‘be President one day’

  • US-born Brandon helped lead Imperial College to a University Challenge victory
  • Confident contestant dazzled viewers at home with his impressive knowledge
  • One tweeted the student will likely return to the US to be ‘President one day’  
  • Jeremy Paxman also jokingly apologised for making questions ‘too easy’ for him

Jeremy Paxman is used to baffling Britain’s brightest minds on University Challenge. 

But last night the veteran broadcaster had to jokingly apologise for making the questions ‘too easy’ for one confident contestant. 

Imperial College computing student Brandon, originally from Queens, New York, helped lead his team to victory with his dazzling general knowledge – correctly answering questions on everything from fruit to physics. 

Imperial College computing student Brandon, originally from Queens, New York, helped lead his team to victory with his dazzling general knowledge on last night's episode

Imperial College computing student Brandon, originally from Queens, New York, helped lead his team to victory with his dazzling general knowledge on last night’s episode

Brandon's dynamic quizzing won him dozens of fans on Twitter, with one claiming he could be the best University Challenge contestant of all time and another saying he'll be president

Brandon’s dynamic quizzing won him dozens of fans on Twitter, with one claiming he could be the best University Challenge contestant of all time and another saying he’ll be president

Can YOU do as well as Brandon? 

Here is a selection of questions correctly answered by the Imperial College brainbox. Scroll down to the bottom of the story for the solutions. 

1. What adjective precedes worm, oleander, noise and teeth in the titles of novels by Bram Stoker, Janet Fitch, Don DeLillo and Zadie Smith?   

2. Identify pairs of food stuffs whose common names begin with the same four letters. Give both names from the descriptions: 

a) A large tropical fruit from the bromneliad family and the edible seeds from various species of conifer used to make pesto  

b) Two fruits: citrus maxima, similar in appearance to a large grapefruit, and a member of the genus punica, whose common name comes from the Latin for seeded apple. 

3. Picture round. You’ll see a map with a peninsula circled in red. For 10 points give the name of the peninsula. 

The showstopping performance helped the university secure a comfortable 240-75 victory over The Courtauld Institute of Art and bring them one step closer to a place in the semi-finals. 

Brandon’s dynamic quizzing won him dozens of fans on Twitter, with one claiming he could be the best University Challenge contestant of all time. Another said he is already in the running to become US President.  

Dozens of fans took to Twitter to share their amazement at Brandon's general knowledge

Dozens of fans took to Twitter to share their amazement at Brandon’s general knowledge

One tweeted: ‘I reckon Brandon is possibly the best contestant I’ve seen on here. Even more so than Monkman. Obscenely knowledgeable #UniversityChallenge.’ 

Another added: ‘Brandon is smashing it tonight. So young yet so knowledgeable. I feel intellectually diminished tonight. Still enjoying it. #UniversityChallenge.’ 

A third posted: ‘Brandon would win the competition on his own. #UniversityChallengeKlaxon #UniversityChallenge.’

It was the computing student’s response to a tricky maps question that made Paxman chuckle. 

It was the computing student's response to a tricky maps question that made Paxman chuckle. The teams were asked to identify the peninsula circled on the map above

It was the computing student’s response to a tricky maps question that made Paxman chuckle. The teams were asked to identify the peninsula circled on the map above

Asked to identify the peninsula circled on an unmarked map, Brandon barely paused for breath before correctly answering 'Korean' before making this expression at his teammates

Asked to identify the peninsula circled on an unmarked map, Brandon barely paused for breath before correctly answering ‘Korean’ before making this expression at his teammates

The reaction was not lost on Paxman, pictured, who quipped: 'Sorry it's so easy for you'

The reaction was not lost on Paxman, pictured, who quipped: ‘Sorry it’s so easy for you’

Asked to identify the peninsula circled on an unmarked map, Brandon barely paused for breath before correctly answering ‘Korean’.   

He then turned to his teammates and raised his eyebrows, prompting Paxman to quip: ‘Sorry it’s so easy for you!’ The contestant replied teasingly: ‘No, no it’s fine.’

Imperial now have to win one more match in order to progress to the next round of the competition. 

Fans of the show already have their hopes set on a potential finals showdown between Brandon and Wang, the equally animated team captain from Corpus Christi college, Cambridge, who scored 156 points by himself during one match this series.

Fans of the show already have their hopes set on a potential finals showdown between Brandon and Wang, the equally animated team captain from Corpus Christi college, Cambridge. Others were tickled by the fact that he only uses his first name when competing

Fans of the show already have their hopes set on a potential finals showdown between Brandon and Wang, the equally animated team captain from Corpus Christi college, Cambridge. Others were tickled by the fact that he only uses his first name when competing

The answers to Brandon’s questions

1. What adjective precedes worm, oleander, noise and teeth in the titles of novels by Bram Stoker, Janet Fitch, Don DeLillo and Zadie Smith?  

Answer: White

2. Identify pairs of food stuffs whose common names begin with the same four letters. Give both names from the descriptions: 

a) A large tropical fruit from the bromneliad family and the edible seeds from various species of conifer used to make pesto 

Answer: Pineapple and pine nuts 

b) Two fruits: citrus maxima, similar in appearance to a large grapefruit, and a member of the genus punica, whose common name comes from the Latin for seeded apple.

Answer: Pomelo and pomegranate

3. Picture round. You’ll see a map with a peninsula circled in red. For 10 points give the name of the peninsula. 

Answer: Korean peninsula 

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