‘University Challenge’ contestant on his leather vest: ‘I didn’t think it was that outrageous’

Kaamil Shah responds to the controversy his 'University Challenge' outfit caused on Monday night

The University Challenge contestant who became a major talking point on Twitter on Monday night after appearing on the BBC Two quiz show wearing a leather vest has responded to the controversy his choice of outfit caused.

Kaamil Shah wore what he described as a “half-leather vest top” when representing King’s College, Cambridge on Monday night’s episode, which many viewers felt was a brave fashion choice for the traditionally-minded highbrow show. Comedian Julian Clary tweeted at the time: “A VEST on #UniversityChallenge #Bold I’m calling the Police.”

Explaining why he wore the distinctive item of clothing for his appearance in front of Jeremy Paxman, Shah told BBC Radio 5 Live today: “I just thought I can’t look like the same old University Challenge contestant because I don’t feel like the same old University Challenge contestant. I definitely didn’t just want to wear a Christmas jumper or a boring suit, so I just thought, I’m going to dress like I normally do.”

Continuing, Shah admitted that though his university friends often tease him for “being a bit of a weird dresser”, he thinks “people were quite excited to see me go viral”.

“I was kind of blown away by how much attention this has received and how much of a big thing this has become,” he added. “I literally didn’t clock that the vest was going to be that outrageous.”