University Challenge results, 1962-1963
These are the results of the very first series of University Challenge which ran weekly on ITV. The series began on Friday 21 September 1962 and ran for 61 episodes, ending with the deciding game of the three-leg final in the week of 26 November 1963. According to the TV listings, the show ran for 20 minutes. In the Anglia region the show was broadcast on Friday at 22:45 for the first 7 weeks, then on Tuesday at 19:00 for 8 weeks, then Monday at 22:10 for over 8 months, before settling on Tuesday at 19:00 for its final 11 weeks.
The first round had a 'winner-stays-on' format, with a team qualifying for the quarter-finals if they won three in a row. From the quarter-finals onwards, the games were 'best-of-three' though only two were broadcast if the same team won the first two. The quarter-finals were unusual in that Birkbeck played Leicester four times, with the fourth being labelled a "replay". Presumably this was due to a tie or an error in a question that affected the result.
For the whole of the Bamber era TV schedules differed between the different ITV regions, and the show was often broadcast at different times and on different days in different parts of the country, and sometimes the regions were even a week or two out of sync with each other. Where the date differed, I try to use the date the show was broadcast in the Anglia region in the tables.
There are many gaps that I've been unable to find, so please do contact me if you can assist.
The first ever series champions were Oliver Andrew (studying for a PGCE), Madalane Hall (English), Geoffrey Ford (Geology) and John Hewitt (History). The prize for the university was a first-edition copy of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary.
Winning teams advancing to the next round are in bold.