Er, well, I was when the programme started.
I’ve been reading about Gail Trimble’s dominance of University Challenge over the past few days, but it seems that her brilliance was all for nothing, the team having been nobbled by the revelation that Sam Kay was not a student for the entirety of the contest, which means that Manchester have won on a technicality. The captain of the Manchester team, Matthew Yeo, would seem to be suitably embarrassed as the BBC story reports.
I suppose Trimble is in her rooms at Corpus composing a new Latin declamation which might include such lines as uenio ut Caium uiuum humem ne eum laudem “I come to bury Kay alive, not to praise him”.
The problem seems to have been that Kay was intending to continue his studies, but life changed because he couldn’t get funding to do a PhD. I would assume that the rules state that if a contestant’s status changes, they must withdraw to be replaced by a reserve team member. It’s easy to imagine that the rules were unread, and hard to imagine that the other members of the Corpus team were unaware that Kay had started working. I don’t believe that this was a deliberate deception, but it does suggest that the BBC needs to make sure that contestants actually read the rules instead of just signing the form.