Leading article: An unforeseen challenge

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The Independent Online

One by one, our historic institutions seem to be tumbling into disrepute, their pretensions to wisdom and reliability exposed amid mocking boos and laughter as dross and hollow shams.

No, it's not the banks, courts, army or royals we are talking about but University Challenge. It appears that one of the students on the team from Corpus Christi, Oxford, which won the series last week, was not a student at all – but an accountant from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Where are honest folk to turn after this disagreeable revelation? Where is Bamber? Surely the great Gascoigne, whose mild, donnish manner once encapsulated the programme's image of irreproachable probity, would have had something to say – beyond his famous catchphrases, "fingers on buzzers" or "your starter for 10".

Clearly, when people claim to be "studying chemistry" and the like, they will have to be checked out, or take lie-detector tests. It's time to get tough because the age of innocence is over.