Leading article: University challenged

Click to follow
The Independent Online

T S Eliot wrote that humankind cannot bear very much reality. It sometimes seems that we British cannot bear very much intelligence; at least if the gnashing of teeth that Gail Trimble has provoked through her virtuoso performances on University Challenge is anything to go by.

Of course Ms Trimble's offence lies not so much in her wide reading and cultivated intelligence, but in her unashamed exhibition of her erudition. The British respect intellectual brilliance, but prefer it to be hidden beneath a blanket of self-effacement.

Still, there is no reason why the 26-year old Oxford classicist should submit to such stifling social conventions. And she has built up as many admirers as detractors in recent months.

Ms Trimble might not look like a typical student revolutionary, but if she carries on as she has been doing, she might yet help to overturn the prevailing order. More power to her buzzer finger.