Since Eric Monkman first appeared on University Challenge last year, he has become a legend.
Championed by his thousands of avid fans as “the perfect man” and a “hero of our time”, the Cambridge student has captured the nation’s attention in a way no quiz show star has done before.
Ahead of his showdown against Joey Goldman and the Balliol College, Oxford team in tonight’s final, we take a look at some of Monkman’s best moments over the last eight months.
5. The incredible moment viewers realised they were watching a legend.
Over the past months, Monkman has become somewhat of a national treasure as #Monkmania has spread across the country.
But when the Cambridge student first graced our screens back in September, Twitter exploded as viewers were exposed to his incredible intelligence, enthusiasm and bellowing tones for the first time.
“I can’t remember what life was like before Monkman,” one fan wrote at the time.
4. This unbelievably theatrical answer.
Monkman’s a pretty dramatic guy - it’s part of his charm.
But the 29-year-old took it to the next level when he was asked to translate a phrase from Latin, leaving even the stony-faced Jeremy Paxman in complete awe of his theatrics.
“You would have made a wonderful revivalist preacher,” a grinning Paxman responded, leading viewers to suggest that a “bromance” may be forming between the two brainiacs.
3. When he revealed he’s been a star for a years.
As Monkman’s loyal fans, we might like to think we helped build him into the legend he is today.
But speaking to The Huffington Post UK back in February, the Balliol College captain revealed he was actually a teenage quiz show star back in Canada.
As a fresh-faced 15-year-old, Monkman battled his way to the semi-finals of Canadian trivia show Reach For The Top.
Despite his insistence he didn’t garner much of a reaction on the programme in the pre-Twitter era, the host still remembered him 14 years on, sharing a photo of the young genius.
“I met Eric Monkman while hosting Reach For The Top in 2003,” presenter Joseph Motiki wrote.
“The Oakville Trafalgar alum just went viral in the UK playing University Challenge.
“Glad I live in a world where Eric is still on TV answering hard questions to the best of his ability,” he added.
Aren’t we all?
2. This completely bizarre appearance on The One Show.
Heralded as the “ultimate University Challenge showdown”, Monkman’s quarter-final face off with cheeky chappy Bobby Seagull garnered some serious attention.
So much so, The One Show had the two contestants on to chat about their new found fame - and answer a few questions.
Not one to disappoint, Monkman took his usual enthusiasm to the next level, treating viewers to his dulcet tones.
Unsurprisingly, it just made his league of loyal fans love him even more:
1. His heart-warming bromance with Bobby Seagull.
We all love Monkman’s brains, but it’s his personality that has won him thousands of fans - including fellow contestant Bobby Seagull.
Monkman may have kicked Seagull and his Emmanuel College, Cambridge team out of the competition, but it hasn’t damaged the beautiful bromance that has formed between the two brainiacs.
“This is a bromance made in heaven,” one fan wrote on Twitter.
“Can they just have a spin off were they solve mysteries?” another added.
There are even rumours Monkman could be best man at Seagull’s wedding...
Here’s hoping we get an invite.