LOCAL lad William Tams is through to the quarter-finals of University Challenge.

The 21-year-old from Kirkby Stephen and his team-mates from Durham University scored a resounding 245-95 win over Southampton in Monday night's episode of the famous BBC Two quiz.

Biology student William, who was head boy at Kirkby Stephen Grammar School, successfully answered tricky questions on historic Scottish battles, the French royal family and the foreign policy of "splendid isolation".

William's fellow academics looked hopefully to him when a question came up about a scientist born in Westmorland in 1882, who came up with a theory on the luminosity of stars. "I'm going to catch hell for this," said William, smiling and shaking his head, as Jeremy Paxman gave the answer, Arthur Eddington.

William is in his final year at Durham. His mum Daphne Fisher and sister Bridget live at Mellbecks, in Kirkby Stephen, while grandparents Anne and Geoffrey Fisher live in Shap. William's brother, George, is also away at university.