2000AD writer Dan Abnett appears on an “alumni” episode of University Challenge on BBC2 over Christmas, representing his old Oxford college.
“A couple of weeks ago, in a moment of what can only be described as a ‘definite case of what the hell’, I agreed to public humiliation on national television over Christmas,” Dan announced on social media this week.
“I mean, I agreed to participate in a beloved National Institution…”
The special episode is one of ten Christmas 2017 specials, this one pitting St John’s College, Cambridge against St Edmund Hall, Oxford,
The St John’s Cambridge team includes screen writer Frederic Raphael and writer Laura Bates, who are fighting it out for a place in the semis against a St Edmund Hall, team that features Dan, Sky News presenter Anna Botting and screenwriter and comedian Emma Kennedy.
The University Challenge quiz show first aired in 1962, initially on ITV until December 1987, presented by quizmaster Bamber Gascoigne. The BBC revived the programme on in 1994 with Jeremy Paxman as the quizmaster.
Dan joins a number of comic creators who have appeared on quiz shows, including former Tharg David Bishop (who was a contestant on The Weakest Link, way back in 2008) and artist Graham Pearce, who appeared on The Chase.
Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell also appeared on University Challenge special this week, as a team representing Soas, featuring comedian Dom Joly and presenter Gus Casely-Hayford, took on a University of Leeds side that included him and BBC economics editor Kamal Ahmed.
Well known for his work on “Judge Dredd” and his co-creations like “Sinister Dexter” for 2000AD, regular downthetubes readers will know Dan’s work on many titles as both editor and writer for Marvel UK, including Death’s Head II. He’s also a well-established prose author. His Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000 novels and graphic novels for Games Workshop’s Black Library now run to several dozen titles and have sold over two million copies.
• University Challenge Christmas 2017 Episode 5 of 10 airs on BBC2 on 29th December at 6.30pm | Episode details here on the BBC web site
The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY.
John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor.
He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY.
Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.