Monkmania lives on despite University Challenge loss

media captionMonkmania continued into Monday night's final, but Oxford proved too much for the Canadian's team

He may not have managed to lead his team to glory, but Eric Monkman has been dubbed the "people's champion" by many following the University Challenge final.

An unlikely star of the 46th series, the Cambridge economics student attracted a loyal following for his animated - and very meme-able - facial expressions, his trusty blue jumper and an impressive intellect.

The 29-year-old became a social media phenomenon when he first appeared on the series back in September.

In a highly anticipated final of the show on Monday, Oxford's Balliol College beat Wolfson College, Cambridge.

Monkman's team might have lost when it came to minds, but the Canadian certainly won plenty of hearts.

image source, Twitter: Joel Gleicher

Twitter went into overdrive during the final showdown as #Monkmania started to trend across the UK.

But in the end, not even Monkman was enough to outsmart Oxford, who won by 190 to 140.

"Oh captain, my captain," lamented one Twitter user.

As a tribute to his work, Monday should be renamed Monkday, said another.

And viewers were quick to praise the the grace with which Monkman accepted defeat, as he heartily applauded the winning team.

"He even lost with enthusiasm. What a pro," said Adrian Andrews.

image source, Twitter
image source, Twitter

Monkman - who scored 120 of his team's 170 points in a previous round - said it had been "a pleasure to play against such great quizzers".

Seemingly unfazed by his new-found fame, he thanked viewers for their support, saying he "never expected such a response".

Host Jeremy Paxman told Wolfson that they had been "entertaining".

And there was a consolation prize for Monkman as he got to meet his "hero" - Professor Stephen Hawking - who presented the winner's trophy.

As you might imagine, Monkman was pretty delighted at this encounter. Cue more Twitter frenzy...

image source, Twitter
image source, Twitter

Watch the final again on iPlayer.

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