Controversy has rocked television institution University Challenge today, as it is being reported that two of the show’s all-time favourite contestants, super brain-boxes Bobby Seagull and Eric Monkman, had their academic prowess enhanced when a rogue programme insider looking to boost the show’s ratings assisted them contrary to the rules.

The unconfirmed reports say that before both boffins appeared on the show they had been given copies of the questions to study in advance, hence their amazing and seemingly encyclopedic knowledge on every conceivable subject when the episodes were aired.

When told the news question master Jeremy Paxman said: ‘Well that would explain quite a lot. I was a bit puzzled because I didn’t know some of the answers myself and I had them written on a bloody card right in front of me for God’s sake!’

However an acquaintance of both Seagull and Monkman, University Challenge, original presenter Bamber Gascoigne, himself a collosal intellect rowed to their rescue quickly pouring cold water on the rumours telling reporters: ‘That’s simply nonsense, both these contestants are brilliant geniuses and make the average Mensa member seem even more gormless than all of Theresa May’s Cabinet put together.’

‘What’s more I know for an absolute fact that Professor Stephen Hawking had them both on speed-dial before he passed away, in case he got stuck on any new theories, formulae or equations and so on.’

‘Oh, and you know, by the way, the teams don’t really sit one on top of the other in the studio at all. That’s just all done by some kind of clever split-screen technology.’