Television

Basu to do 'University Challenge' for BBC World

MUMBAI: The master of quiz is back with a new one.



Siddhartha Basu may be taking longer to decide on the kind of show he wants to do with Doordarshan, but his plan of action for the next series on BBC World is ready. After the unmitigated success of Mastermind India, a delightful exercise in some serious intellectual sparring, Basu is set to launch University Challenge on the satellite channel in August.

This year, Mastermind India takes a break, according to Synergy, Basu's production company. The groundwork is ready and Basu's team is now sending out calls for entries to participate in the contest through leading dailies. The all India inter college TV quiz requires participants to be over 18, top quizzers, part of a four member team nominated to represent their college or university, and need to be bona fide students of colleges affiliated to universities/ deemed universities recognised by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

University Challenge has been running on BBC UK for the last 40 years as the licensed version of the American programme, College Bowl. The series will have its first ever telecast on BBC World in India, starting August 7, 2003, with Indian teams and an added bonus of five special episodes featuring top British University Challenge teams. A total of 32 episodes will be telecast.

University Challenge in India will be planned as a nationwide search for the brightest and best-informed college students in the country in 27 Indian knock out rounds, according to Synergy.

University Challenge is a prime time, elimination quiz show where the best quizzing teams from prime university colleges across India vie for top honours in a head to head challenge with opponent college teams. The four special episodes consisting of winning teams from the British University Challenge will be pitted against the top quizzing teams from Indian colleges. The series will end with a grand final between the Indian University Challenge winning team of this year and the winning team of the UK University Challenge. The British teams will be flown down by British Council India to participate in the recordings in Delhi.

Each episode of University Challenge will feature two teams of four members each.

A typical question answer sequence will comprise of a 'Starter' question, which will be open to all eight contestants. Whichever contestant buzzes in the answer to the 'Starter' question correctly, his/her team is asked three linked bonus questions, of a specified subject field. This sequence of question answers will be repeated as many number of times as the duration of the episode (i.e. 26 minutes) permits.

The series would cover the gamut of sports, theatre, technology, industries, films, music, dance, science and medicine, television, advertising, art and literature, destinations, cuisine and many more areas.

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