A 63-year-old representing the University of Reading on University Challenge has responded to “controversy” on social media accusing her of being “too old” for the show.

Margaret Ounsley, from Coley, who is studying for a PHD in poor law history, is one of four Reading students who have beaten the odds to take the university to the final for the first time in its history.

Despite her competitors, university and many viewers heaping praise on Margaret, some Twitter users argued there should be an age limit to entry.

“A controversy that’s been bubbling away on social media is whether or not old crocks like me should be allowed on the programme at all,” said Ms Ounsley.

Read more: Record number of Reading children living in poverty

“My view is that when University Challenge started as a programme back in the 1960s, universities were sort of Brideshead Revisited: They were young, posh and male.

“But universities aren’t like that anymore. They’re much more diverse, many more Black and ethnic minorities, many more women, many more people from working class origins and a lot more older people and I personally celebrate the fact that the program reflects that now.”

There is no upper or lower age limit on contestants participating in the programme, according to its guidelines.

The University Challenge final will air tonight at 8.30pm, where the University of Reading, led by team captain Michael Hutchinson, will face down Imperial College London.

Reading’s run began with a first round victory over University of Strathclyde and second round win against University of Dundee.

Needing two quarter-final wins from three attempts, Reading beat University of Birmingham and St John’s, Cambridge, either side of a loss to Imperial, to set up its first ever semi-final against University of Edinburgh, which they won last week.