The BBC has said it is taking seriously claims that a member of the winning team on University Challenge was not eligible to take part in the show.

Sam Kay, a member of Oxford’s Corpus Christi College team, told viewers he was studying chemistry at the university.

But the corporation is now investigating claims that Kay graduated in June last year – which would be against the rules of the show which state that only current students are allowed to take part.

“Eligibility is a matter for the BBC and they are looking into it,” a spokesperson for the university told the BBC News website.

“However we need time to investigate fully, so we will do so and report our findings early next week.”

The team hit the headlines after another member, Gail Trimble, helped them score a huge victory over opponents Manchester University.

The 26-year-old was dubbed “the human Google” after scoring two-thirds of the team’s points in subsequent rounds leading up to the final.