| Quiz show|
| Seán Hogan|
| Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Charity Lords of the Ring, Cabin Fever|
Challenging Times was a television quiz show for teams representing higher education institutes in Ireland, both those in the Republic of Ireland and those in Northern Ireland. It was televised by Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) from 1991 to 2001, sponsored by The Irish Times, and presented by Kevin Myers, then a columnist with that newspaper. The programme used a quizbowl format similar to that of University Challenge in the United Kingdom, which is itself a licensed version of the College Bowl format popular in the United States. Each year, 16 teams qualified for the televised knockout stages, with two teams of three competing in each programme up to the final.
Challenging Times Wikipedia
Filming locations included RTÉ's Studio 1, the lecture theatre of St. Vincent's University Hospital and University College Dublin's O'Reilly Hall.
The programme was cancelled after the 2001 series, at a time when RTÉ was in financial difficulties. The final of that series was postponed at short notice and an episode of The Simpsons was broadcast instead. Kevin Myers later complained that RTÉ had given The Irish Times no notice that the series was being discontinued, though RTÉ disputed this contention.
The 1997 final was notable for its controversial ending. DCU led 175 to UL's 170. Myers began to ask the final question: "He was born in Australia in 1902, of Irish parents..." The DCU captain buzzed in and answered "Ned Kelly" as the buzzer sounded to mark the end. An incorrect answer would mean a five-point penalty and a tie-break, but Myers ruled that the quiz had ended before the incorrect answer was given, and thus DCU won 175–170. (The controversial question actually referred to the writer Francis Stuart.)
The Universities Act, 1997 substantially altered a number of third-level institutions, so this list unites the results of several colleges with their predecessors.
Other institutions that appeared on Challenging Times but did not reach a final:Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology
Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology
Garda Síochána College
Queen's University Belfast
Institute of Technology, Sligo (Sligo RTC)
Waterford Institute of Technology