A student from the North East has proven he is top of the form after celebrating becoming a University Challenge champion.
Freddy Potts, who attended Emmanuel College, in Gateshead, before leaving after A Levels in 2015, was one of the four team members from Balliol College, Oxford, who took the prestigious title.
Despite making a significant contribution to the result, the history student revealed he was “completely terrified” throughout the final – and while watching the recorded programme when it was broadcast this week.
“It was a viscerally scary experience. I think it was even worse seeing it again on TV,” admitted Freddy, who returned to Oxford to watch a screening of the final with friends.
The tense final saw the Balliol College team beat Wolfson College, Cambridge, by 50 points.
“We trusted in each other a lot as a team. We’ve won the inter-collegiate quiz at Oxford for two years running so we’ve been able to build up that trust over time,” he added, explaining the team’s success.
Freddy’s proud mum Kim, an administrator, who watched the final with husband David and younger son Jamie, said: “He got quite a few bonuses and starter questions but they all did really well and worked very well as a team.”
Freddy, now 20, was Emmanuel College’s top student in 2013 when he achieved 12 A*s at GCSE, a feat he followed with two A*s and an A in his A Levels. He was one of six Emmanuel students who secured Oxbridge places in 2015.
He said he had been thinking about applying to Oxford University and was encouraged further by Emmanuel College history teacher Nat Ogborn, who also went to Oxford.
“Having someone who knew the drill was really helpful. Emmanuel College was a valuable experience. It got me where I am today.
“It’s been really interesting to be at Oxford. I ran Balliol’s student canteen for a year and now I’m vice president of the junior common room,” added Freddy, who is from Streetgate, Gateshead, and is considering applying for a Masters degree after graduation next year.
Matt Waterfield, Principal of Emmanuel College, said: “We are enormously proud of what Freddy has achieved along with the rest of the team from Balliol College.
“Freddy is remembered here as a fine young man with a towering intellect and we’re delighted to see him do so well.”