Eric Monkman is an academic and television personality that was born in Oakville, Ontario. Monkman obtained a bachelors degree form the University of Waterloo and a master's degree in economics from Wolfson College.
During his time at Wolfson College, Monkman was the captain of his University Challenge team known at the Emmanuel College Team. The University Challenge is a quiz television show by the BBC. After participating on the University Challenge programme Monkman became a TV personality due to both his extensive knowledge and entertaining personality.
After appearing on the University Challenge and becoming a well-known public figure, Monkman made the following comments regarding his new found public identity in a 2018 interview published by the Canadian media company Maclean's:
I was very surprised by the social-media response. I wasn’t really on Twitter at the time, and I searched ‘Monkman,’ and what I found was that all these people were commenting about me. They were saying mean things at first like, ‘He’s too loud. He has no indoor voice.’ But then I guess I started to do well and they seemed to like me more. Eventually I relaxed and accepted that there is an ironic element to people’s interest in me. I’m an atypical person in the media eye, and I think people like that.
Eric Monkman ran his own radio show titled "Monkman and Seagull's Polymathic Adventure" in 2017, and also published a book in 2016 called " The Monkman and Seagull Quiz Book". The radio show and book were made in collaboration with Bobby Seagull who Monkman met while participating in the University Challenge television programme.