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Student who went to St Benedict's Catholic School, in Bury St Edmunds, appears on BBC's University Challenge with Jeremy Paxman



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A student who went to school in Bury St Edmunds has fulfilled a lifelong dream after appearing on University Challenge.

Gilbert Jackson, 20, is currently in his third year at Imperial College, London, where he is studying for a masters in Chemistry.

He is part of the Quiz Society at the top university and applied to be part of their University Challenge team, and was accepted.

Gilbert Jackson appeared on University Challenge last night. Picture: BBC/Lifted Entertainment, Part of ITV Studios/Joseph Scanlon.
Gilbert Jackson appeared on University Challenge last night. Picture: BBC/Lifted Entertainment, Part of ITV Studios/Joseph Scanlon.

Last night, the former St Benedict's Catholic School student lived out a dream and appeared on the show presented by Jeremy Paxman, and which he has grown up watching with his parents.

"When I got told I was going to be on the team I couldn't believe it," Gilbert said.

"You just get it in an email, it says application results and it says 'just to keep it brief you are on the team'.

Gilbert Jackson studied at St Benedict's Catholic School in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Gilbert Jackson.
Gilbert Jackson studied at St Benedict's Catholic School in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Gilbert Jackson.

"My parents and my family they couldn't believe it either.

"It's always something I talk about and it's something that they are just incredibly happy for me to be doing."

The Imperial College four-person team went up against St John's, Cambridge, and stormed into the second round, winning with 210 points.

Paxman said: "Congratulations to you. 210 is a magnificent score and we shall look forward to seeing you definitely in Round Two."

Last night's episode was filmed in February earlier this year, and Gilbert said even though the experience was constrained due to coronavirus restrictions, it was still memorable.

"Being on TV was such a strange experience," he said.

"You see the University Challenge set on TV but with all the cameras and lighting you just can't describe it."

Gilbert said he had become good friends with his teammates Matt Zeng, Michael Mays and Fatima Sheriff.

"We have had opportunities to meet as a team and go out to galleries and do other things," he said.

He added: "We have had Zoom meetings as well and everyone is lovely and we are all really good friends with each other."

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