University Challenge fans distracted by captain’s ‘flirty’ habit ‘Flirting with everyone?’

University Challenge: Kings College London team are introduced

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On Monday evening, King’s College – London took on Hertford College – Oxford for a spot in this year’s University Challenge quarter-finals. BBC Two viewers tuned in to see which of the two teams would book their place in the next stage but it soon became clear there was one player who distracted from host Jeremy Paxman’s line of questioning. King’s College captain Atyab Rashid was the player in question, with most fans loving his stint on the show.

Rashid, who’s studying for a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy, introduced himself alongside teammates Ananth Sathyanath, Rachel Bedwin and Oliver Beard.

From the get-go, Rashid was hot on the buzzer, answering a number of Paxman’s brainteasers correctly.

He also seemed in high spirits with the rest of his team, sharing a number of smiley exchanges and light-hearted back and forths as they conferred.

And in the end, King’s had the edge over Hertford, storming to an early lead and running out as winners after a score of 165 – 115.

But rather than the victory, social media was awash with fans commenting on Rashid’s seemingly “flirtatious” behaviour.

Twitter user @helendeyourear picked up on the habit first, saying: “First time I’ve seen flirting on #UniversityChallenge.”

While @Jos_Pearce agreed: ”#UniversityChallenge is Rashid just flirting with everyone watching…..??”

@Johnjollyrogers similarly weighed in with a tongue in cheek suggestion: “Rashid is the suavest m**o on the planet. He needs to be the next James Bond #UniversityChallenge.”

Praising Rashid’s all-round demeanour, @kitty_la_la commented: “Is the Speaking Clock still a thing?  I’d pay money to hear Rashid’s voice morning, noon and night. #UniversityChallenge.”

”I want Rashid to narrate my thoughts #UniversityChallenge,” @JazzyDodger joked while @chrishaswingz suggested: “Rashid should consider recording sleepy time stories, very soothing #UniversityChallenge.”

@DominicNeagle commented: “#UniversityChallenge Hands up who wants Rashid to read them a bedtime story…”

While @Ariadnce_Reviews added: “I’ve never understood ASMR and then Rashid said ‘Large Magellanic Cloud’ and it all makes sense now. #UniversityChallenge.”

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However, not everyone was too impressed with the confident team captain.

Finding his behavior rather annoying, @FoodFunForest tweeted: “Rashid is the living incarnation of smugness. #UniversityChallenge.”

While @Mole_9 agreed: “I seem to be immune to King’s captain Rashid’s charms: his habit of answering virtually every question with ‘Is it…’ is hugely irritating. #UniversityChallenge.”

Singing off the show, Paxman was quick to congratulate Rashid and King’s for their efforts, as well as his commiserations for Hertford.

“And at the gong, Hertford has 115 points but King’s London has 165.

“So I’m afraid we have to – although you were going along well at the end there,” Paxman said to the Hertford team. 

“But thank you very much for joining us Hertford. King’s we shall look forward to seeing you in the quarter-finals, congratulations.”

University Challenges airs Mondays at 8:30pm on BBC One.

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