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Ask the Canadian nerd

March 29, 2017

A young university student from Oakville has UK television viewers sitting up and taking note.

Eric Monkman, 29, an economics student from Oakville, is the latest star  of the nerdy UK TV quiz show, University Challenge, in which teams from universities across Britain compete for the top prize.

Monkman’s acquired something of a cult following as he spits out answers  in rapid-fire succession. His intense frowns, odd mannerisms and unique way of blurting out answers have captivated quiz show lovers in the UK.  This week, he led his team from Wolfson College, Cambridge to the semi-final of this year’s season of the show, and acquired adoring admirers on social media along the way.

Britain has a fascination with quiz shows and other programs that invite viewers to pit wits with contestants. And smart people with encyclopedic knowledge frequently become as famous for their nerdy know-how as pop stars do for their music in North America.

If Monkman were, say, a soccer player who was tearing up the turf at Wembley, we’d be feting him back here in Toronto and bragging of his prowess. That fact he’s a smart, well-educated kid means he’s just cruising under the radar.

Hey, good luck Eric. Nerds across the GTA are cheering for you!


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