The Radio Times logo
We may earn commission from links on this page. Our editorial is always independent (learn more)

Starter for 10

  • Drama
  • Comedy
  • 2006
  • Tom Vaughan (1)
  • 92 mins
  • 12A

Summary

Coming-of-age comedy starring James McAvoy. It's 1985 and gawky, working-class swot Brian Jackson is embarking on his fresher year at Bristol University. Given the opportunity to fulfil his lifelong dream of appearing on TV's University Challenge, he falls for his beautiful team-mate and forms a plan to win her heart through his advanced general knowledge skills. If only love - and quiz show glory - were that simple.

Advertisement
Powered By
IMDB

Review

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

TV's University Challenge provides a hilarious framing device for debut director Tom Vaughan's spirited coming-of-age comedy drama. Adapted by David Nicholls from his own bestselling novel, it stars a charismatic James McAvoy as a gawky, working-class student navigating through his chaotic fresher year at Bristol University in the mid-1980s. Bittersweet lessons about life and love follow, precipitated by two headstrong girls (a chalk-and-cheese Alice Eve and Rebecca Hall) and a dream opportunity to compete in his favourite academic telly quiz (whose catchphrase gives the film its title). With its smart, pop culture-infused dialogue and evocative period soundtrack, this campus charmer has all the buoyancy of a John Hughes teen caper. But it's the sharp, distinctly British humour and nostalgic warmth that have most appeal. Adroitly combined, they enhance an otherwise conventional plot and bring out the best in a collectively fine cast - especially in the delicious, climactic re-creation of the TV programme itself.

How to watch

Loading

Streaming

Credits

Cast

rolename
Brian JacksonJames McAvoy
Alice HarbinsonAlice Eve
Rebecca EpsteinRebecca Hall
Julie JacksonCatherine Tate
SpencerDominic Cooper
PatrickBenedict Cumberbatch
ToneJames Corden
Bamber GascoigneMark Gatiss
Michael HarbinsonCharles Dance
Rose HarbinsonLindsay Duncan
JoshSimon Woods
Lucy ChangElaine Tan

Crew

rolename
DirectorTom Vaughan (1)

Details

Theatrical distributor
Icon
Released on
2006-11-10
Languages
English
Guidance
Contains swearing, nudity and drug abuse.
Available on
DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour

News & features about Starter for 10

Advertisement

RadioTimes.com is getting better. Fresh new look, redesigned programme hub, richer content…

FIND OUT MORE
Advertisement

Sponsored content