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March 2019



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Gail Trimble and Dumb Britain

Congratulations to Gail Trimble *and her team* on winning University Challenge. I was astonished to hear that far from being praised for her success, the poor girl has come in for a load of abuse. Isn’t it depressing that people still feel threatened by a clever woman? This seems symbolic of the anti-aspirational attitudes found everywhere today. OK, Ms Trimble comes from a supportive middle class home and has had educational advantages. We should be saying, ’Let’s try to give more people those benefits’ but instead the attitude is, ‘Let’s bring her down!’ It’s a far cry from the Mechanics’ Institutes and Workers’ Educational Societies of old. Eheu!


I don't read the papers much so it was a shock to me to hear all this on Radio 4's p.m. yesterday. The worst attacks have apparently come from bloggers!
There is a really offensive and unpleasant Facebook group called 'I hate Corpus Christi uni challenge team ESPECIALLY Gail Trimble'. Sample comment [redacted]:

Why would we want to be an insufferably smug c***? I don't care if she's academically booksmart, that means nothing to me, I don't judge people on that. The fact that thousands of people across the country think she is incredibly irritating speaks volumes however. I think she's pathetic, why does she flick her hair evey 10 seconds, she looks f***ing disgusting, and has annoying catchphrases - how are we 'jealous'??

I have joined the Gail Trimble Appreciation Group instead and can report that it has twice as many members.
Yes, it's really vicious. And then there are people claiming it's all 'just a joke'. I'm sure that Gail's friends and family find that sort of comment 'hilarious'.
No! That's vile.
There is a really offensive and unpleasant Facebook group

That's a tautology, isn't it?
I liked her. And so did the op ed piece in the Indy yesterday.

Although I do think it's about time UC stopped allowing separate entries from each Oxbridge college.
She seems nice!

A lot of people say that, but the colleges only have a tiny number of people to call on compared with the other universities, so more credit to them, really. Plus, they all play each other in the first, unscreened round, so that there won't be Oxbridge dominance.
On a different note, I have just emailed the president of my university student union to see if we can get a team together for next year's University Challenge. When I was first a student, it was in the years when there was no UC between Bamber Gascoigne and Jeremy Paxman, much to my mother's great disappointment. The next time I was a student we did scrape together a team from my small college and go for an interview, but didn't get accepted. I'm hoping for third time lucky...
Ooh, I hope you do. slemslempike was on!
I have watched UC on and off over the years, and started to watch the remainder of this series after reading dovegreyreader's admiring post (http://dovegreyreader.typepad.com/dovegreyreader_scribbles/2009/01/a-day-at-the-laces.html).

Gail Trimble didn't seem smug to me at all, she came across as a very nice person.

I'm surprised that those haters even watch UC, it doesn't seem like a quiz they would appreciate. It's all sour grapes, I suppose.

Exciting finale by the way, I thought at first Manchester would stay ahead, but Corpus Christi came back splendidly. A deserved win!
I'm surprised that those haters even watch UC
Quite. That sneering remark quoted by rosathome about being 'academically booksmart' says it all.
It is depressing, isn't it, that our society still cannot deal with a clever young woman. I was really shocked when I saw the piece in The Observer on Sunday.
I just read it. I've never seen any of the smirking or smugness people complain about. TBH I know lots of those things, too, but as she said this morning, it's all about 'the quick recall of facts.' It's a game for goodness sake.
oh that is a bit depressing... more and more it seems young women on TV get flak about their appearance, their intelligence (or lack of it), their suitability for motherhood. It must be horrible for them and their families to read some of that stuff.

I thought she seemed very nice too, and it was good to see a woman captain on UC for once. You wonder if some universities have any women students when you see the teams they submit.
And she was a good captain; always conferring before answering and congratulating anyone who got a starter question.