University Challenge star from East Ham to launch quiz book

PUBLISHED: 13:12 30 October 2017 | UPDATED: 13:12 30 October 2017

Bobby Seagull Picture: Lloyd Mann/University of Cambridge

Bobby Seagull Picture: Lloyd Mann/University of Cambridge

Lloyd Mann/University of Cambridge

As two of University Challenge’s most memorable contestents ever, it’s not surprising that Bobby Seagull and Eric Monkman have become something of a double act.

Bobby Seagull with his University Challenge team Picture: BBCBobby Seagull with his University Challenge team Picture: BBC

The team captains have already hosted a BBC Radio 4 show and now they’re about to launch their first quiz book.

“I’m really excited,” said Bobby, who grew up in East Ham. “The book’s got a bit of everything, a lot of general knowledge.

“There’s a set of questions about things you’re expected to know when you leave primary school, and I’ve even managed to sneak a few questions on West Ham in there as well.”

And if you think you’re as clever as the pair, former St Bonaventure’s pupil Bobby will launching the book with a quiz night at the Wanstead Tap later this month.

But don’t think you can cheat by reading the book, though.

“It’s a different set of questions,” said Bobby, 33. “I didn’t want anyone who’s already read the book to know the answers.”

The former East London Science School teacher is now working at a state school in Cambridge while studying for a doctorate in education, specialising in maths at Emmanuel College.

But that doesn’t mean he’ll be back on University Challenge, though - the show’s rules dictate contestents can only appear in one series.

“My next project is writing a book, how maths can change your life,” he said.

“We’re also working on a second radio show.

“I think the BBC were astonished by how much good publicity the first one got.”

On the face of it, keen West Ham fan Bobby and Eric, from Canada, are an unlikely pairing.

“It’s interesting,” said Bobby. “We’ve got quite distinct personalities, quite different. I think that’s why the public were interested.”

His long term ambition is to inspire more people to share his passion for numbers.

“One of my life goals is to be like Jamie Oliver is with food and healthy eating, but with maths,” he explained. “I want to use my influence to help.”

The quiz night starts at the Wanstead Tap at 7pm on Wednesday, November 29. Entry for a team of up to five costs £10 and can be booked at

Bobby will be signing copies of his book, which comes out on November 1 priced at £12.99, afterwards.

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