John McLellan to appear on University Challenge

The Stirling team with presenter Jeremy Paxman. Pic: comp
The Stirling team with presenter Jeremy Paxman. Pic: comp
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FORMER Evening News and Scotsman editor John McLellan is set to appear on a special Christmas edition of University Challenge.

He will join fellow celebrated Stirling University graduates Muffy Calder, Paul Lewis, and Richard Lochhead in taking on the might of Oxford’s St Hugh’s College.

The programme is due to air on December 27.

Psychology graduate Lewis, now a freelance financial journalist and presenter of BBC Moneybox, captained the Stirling team.

He was joined by Computing Science graduate Calder, a university Professor and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Scottish Government.

McLellan, an English and Film & Media graduate and Politics graduate Lochhead, the Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, completed the quartet.

Calder, whose role involves advising the Government on matters such as the future of Information and Communications Technology in schools and cyber security, said: “It was a very special experience and I was very honoured to be asked along.

“To be up against an Oxford institution was never going to be easy and I’m afraid while my general knowledge is pretty good, my knowledge of Greek history and mythology is non-existent.

“There was another edition being recorded before ours and we watched it from the green room. I think I did better answering those questions than our own and it made me feel a bit nervous, but once you’re in the studio it’s much darker and I couldn’t see the audience so that let me focus more.

“Jeremy Paxman was a true professional and very witty; he made us feel comfortable. I’m still beating myself up about questions which of course I knew the answer to, but my mind went blank at the time.

“I am so glad we did it and it was lovely to represent Stirling and meet other graduates who collectively spanned several decades. None of us were at Stirling at the same time so it was interesting to share stories of our experiences – I had a whale of a time at Stirling.”