Former Tiffin schoolgirl Laura Horton went down in University Challenge history when she led her York team mates into cerebral battle on June 19, by becoming the youngest person ever to captain a side on the show.

The first year history student, who picked up straight As at the Kingston School before heading north to university, is hoping she can follow in the footsteps of Thames Ditton’s “human Google” Gail Trimble, who became the record points scorer on the show during last year’s competition.

But the 18-year-old will be hoping to avoid the fate which befell Miss Trimble in 2008 when her Corpus Christi, Oxford University team was disqualified for fielding a trainee accountant who had already graduated - but was a student when filming for the competition began.

Miss Horton said her York side were all undergraduates with an average age of 19, and was confident there would be no chance of them falling foul of the new rules laid down by the BBC.

She said: “We don’t have any postgraduates on the team, which really distinguishes us from our competition.

“Although a lot of people have come up to me and said that if we are put against Oxford or Cambridge then it’s pretty much game over, I don’t think that’s the case.

“I thought Gail Trimble was fantastic - a real intellect.

“It was great to see so many people suddenly becoming aware of the quiz show because of her.

“I’ve loved University Challenge since I was 15, and we’re all really excited about the competition.”

Miss Horton, who lists her specialist subjects as history, classical music and the periodic table, can be cheered on in the competition when the show is broadcast later in the year.

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