University Challenge results, 1980-1981

These are the results of the eighteenth series of University Challenge which ran weekly on ITV, starting in the week of 15 December 1980 and ending on 7 December 1981, running for 40 shows. In Anglia the series was shown on Mondays at 17:15 with a running time of 30 minutes.

Once again the first round had a 'winner-stays-on' format, with a team qualifying for the quarter-finals if they won three in a row, and the quarter-finals and semi-finals were single-game knockouts, with the final 'best-of-three'.

The series included two specials; the 1980 champions Merton College, Oxford game between students and dons was shown part-way into this series, and the students against dons game for the eventual winners, Queen's University, Belfast was show at the end of the series the week after the final.

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.

First round
15/12/1980Corpus Christi, OxfordAberystwyth
05/01/1981AberystwythMagdalene, Cambridge
12/01/1981AberystwythBedford, London
19/01/1981Oriel, OxfordSt John's, Cambridge
26/01/1981St John's, CambridgeExeter
02/02/1981St John's, CambridgeSt Anne's, Oxford
09/02/1981Queen's, Belfast245200Warwick
16/02/1981Queen's, BelfastSelwyn, Cambridge
23/02/1981Pembroke, OxfordKent
02/03/1981Pembroke, OxfordSurrey
09/03/1981Pembroke, OxfordClare, Cambridge
16/03/1981Clare, CambridgeBristol
23/03/1981BristolLeicester
30/03/1981LeicesterSt John's, Oxford
06/04/1981LeicesterGirton, Cambridge
13/04/1981Girton, CambridgeRoyal Holloway, London
20/04/1981Girton, CambridgeBradford
27/04/1981Keble, OxfordLeicester
04/05/1981Keble, OxfordLSE
11/05/1981Keble, OxfordChrist's, Cambridge
18/05/1981Christ's, CambridgeEdinburgh
25/05/1981EdinburghMansfield, Oxford
01/06/1981EdinburghUniversity, Swansea
08/06/1981Peterhouse, CambridgeBristol
15/06/1981Peterhouse, CambridgeSt David's, Lampeter
22/06/1981St David's, LampeterJesus, Oxford
29/06/1981St David's, LampeterTrinity, Dublin
06/07/1981Lady Margaret Hall, OxfordSouthampton
13/07/1981SouthamptonStirling
20/07/1981StirlingCorpus Christi, Cambridge
1981Corpus Christi, CambridgeUEA
Quarter-finals
26/10/1981Aberystwyth
02/11/1981Girton, CambridgeQueen's, Belfast
Semi-finals
09/11/1981St John's, CambridgeEdinburgh
16/11/1981Queen's, BelfastSt David's, Lampeter
Final
23/11/1981EdinburghQueen's, Belfast
30/11/1981EdinburghQueen's, Belfast
07/12/1981EdinburghQueen's, Belfast
Specials
29/12/1980Merton, Oxford studentsMerton, Oxford dons
04/01/1982Queen's, Belfast studentsQueen's, Belfast dons

The series champions from Queen's University, Belfast were Peter Jackson (English), John McGregor (Semitics), Patrick Ferrity (Law), and John Donnelly (Law). In the traditional students vs. dons game they took on Drs Duffin, Herbison, Ostermeyer and Stewart. The team were first on in the 1980 series where they won one game but then lost narrowly "due to an error with the new automatic gong" and so were invited back with one win already under their belt.

Winning teams advancing to the next round are in bold.