I sometimes wonder, idly, what tv shows cyclists can do – retired track superstar Vicky Pendleton on Strictly Come Dancing was a great fit, but I think I’ve hit the jackpot here. Tonight Emma Pooley will be on that BBC 2-est of tv shows, University Challenge. (I say BBC2-est, but wikipedia tells me it started in the USA, and on ITV in the UK… so weird!). For those of you not in the UK, it’s a panel quiz show where 2 teams of 4 from different universities compete, all the way through to a grand final. This is the Christmas series, with famous/noteable alumni, and Pooley, with her PhD in geo-technical engineering is brilliant for it. I bet she’s out there somewhere saying “I was terrible“, but I bet she’ll be great!
UPDATE! I’m getting hits from people looking for who Emma Pooley is – she’s a former World Champion and Olympic silver medallist cyclist, who’s turned to triathlon, and who was a massive fan favourite for her funny, passionate interviews where she never pulled punches, and for her style of riding, best described as “suicide attacks”. I interviewed her a couple of times last year – before her first race of the 2013 season (listen or read Part 1 & Part 2), after she won the National Championships/before the biggest women’s cycling race, the Giro Rosa; after she won 3 stages in the Giro (listen or read) and then on why she chose to retire from cycling and move to triathlon (read it on Rouleur or listen). She’s awesome – if you want to follow her, she’s on twitter as @PooleyEmma.
It’s tonight, 26th December, at 6:45pm GMT (19:45 CET; 1:45pm USA EST) on BBC2 and here – and shortly after it’s on, it’ll be available here on BBC iPlayer for a month or so. If you can’t wait, here’s a clip (I want to do my hair like that!). Huge thanks Rob Brewer for pointing all this out to me!
UPDATE! Emma and her team, Trinity College Cambridge, are through to the semi-final, that’ll be on
Wednesday 31st December at 8pm (21:00 CET; 3pm USA EST or 7am Thurs Aussie AEST) on BBC2 and here, or Thursday 1st January at 8:30, BBC2 too and here. Stream them live as they happen on the BBC iPlayer.
UPDATE! And her team won! I bet she was relieved when she got the questions on Bradley Wiggins, the Tour de France, Swiss food and German words right 🙂