Meet the Sunderland student going for glory on University Challenge

Adam Lowery, second from right, with his University Challenge team.
Adam Lowery, second from right, with his University Challenge team.

A student from Wearside is hoping to claim academic glory after making it through the first quarter-final of BBC show University Challenge alongside his pals.

Adam Lowery is part of the Newcastle University team to make it through to the next stage of the prestigious competition after he and his fellow students beat Bristol in the quarter-finals.

Adam Lowery, second from left, with his University Challenge team.

Adam Lowery, second from left, with his University Challenge team.

Teams must win two matches in the round to progress on to the semi-finals and be in with a chance to make it through to the last stage of the contest.

It is something of a dream come true for Adam, 22, who says he has watched the quiz programme for as long as he can remember.

“There were adverts around the university for anyone who wanted to try out for the team so I jumped at the chance,” said Adam, who is studying for a PhD in Chemistry after attaining a Masters in the subject.

“You are only allowed to be televised in the team for one year, so I was really keen to get on.

“It’s very nerve-wracking when you are sitting in the studio and you’re getting make-up applied to your face.

“You just can’t wait to get started with things.

“Once things begin though, I have to say that it’s very good fun.”

Former Seaburn Dene Primary and Monkwearmouth School pupil Adam, who lives in Seaburn with his family, spoke of getting to meet renowned broadcaster Jeremy Paxman, who hosts the programme.

“He is everything you imagine him to be I suppose,” he said.

“He seems to be nicer to people the more they win!

“But he certainly puts you at ease.”

Despite currently studying for a PhD in Chemistry Adam, who lives with dad Grant, 53, mum Valerie, 47, and younger brother Joshua, 16, admits that chemistry in not among his stronger subjects.

“I haven’t really got a niche area of knowledge to be honest,” said Adam, who studied at Sunderland College before going to university.

“I just seem to remember really obscure bits of knowledge and that has helped us get through.

“I would say probably history or Chinese history is what I’m best at, but we haven’t had any questions comes up about that yet.

“The team that we have got is great though.

“We didn’t know each other before we got selected, but we all get on really well.

“I’m glad we met up because we all still hang out together now.”

Adam’s next appearance on University Challenge in the next stage of the quarter-final round sees Newcastle University take on St John’s College Cambridge on Monday, February 26.