Student is 'pretty thrilled' to represent Cookstown in University Challenge final

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He may not be the most instantly recognisable member of Wolfson College’s team - that undoubtedly goes to captain Eric Monkman - but Paul Cosgrove played his part in steering the Cambridge side into the grand final of University Challenge.

The 24-year-old Cookstown nuclear engineering student is looking forward to the final which is to be broadcast on BBC2 on April 10.

Paul on the right with the other members of Wolfson College Cambridge

Paul on the right with the other members of Wolfson College Cambridge

Wolfson will play the winners of this Tuesday's second semi-final between Balliol Oxford and University of Edinburgh.

Paul believes the final will be “a grudge match worth watching.”

“We have played both teams before, beating Balliol and losing to Edinburgh,” he said, speaking before the second semi final took place.

"I’m pretty thrilled to represent Cookstown on the show as it’s not too often that we see someone from home make it this far in the competition.”

Wolfson Cambridge team

Wolfson Cambridge team

His team's semi-final showdown with rival Cambridge college Emmanuel was a tight affair with Monkman rallying in the final minutes of the quiz to snatch a 170-140 victory for Wolfson.

Paul is a former pupil of Sacred Heart Primary School, Rock, and St Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt.

He studied at Queen’s University in Belfast where he did his undergraduate in Chemical Engineering.

“I’m now in Cambridge for nearly two years - last year I did an MPhil in Nuclear Energy and I’ve now started my PhD in Nuclear Reactor Physics.”

His parents are Mary and Declan Cosgrove and he has a sister, Claire, who is also at Cambridge. “My aunt Anne and uncle Peter also live in Cookstown with their families so we’re fairly well entrenched,” he said.

Team captain Monkman, an economics graduate, is one of the series favourites, due to his intense facial expressions, while Paul - who admits to being partial to the occasional pub quiz - has a more relaxed approach.

“As far as hobbies go, I swim daily when back in Cookstown otherwise drinking, coding, chasing my girlfriend and doing a PhD keep me busy,” he says.