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
29/12/1980AberystwythMagdalene, Cambridge
05/01/1981AberystwythBedford, London
12/01/1981Oriel, OxfordSt John's, Cambridge
19/01/1981St John's, CambridgeExeter
26/01/1981St John's, CambridgeSt Anne's, Oxford
02/02/1981Queen's, Belfast245200Warwick
09/02/1981Queen's, BelfastSelwyn, Cambridge
16/02/1981Pembroke, OxfordKent
23/02/1981Pembroke, OxfordSurrey
02/03/1981Pembroke, OxfordClare, Cambridge
09/03/1981Clare, CambridgeBristol
16/03/1981BristolLeicester
23/03/1981LeicesterSt John's, Oxford
30/03/1981LeicesterGirton, Cambridge
06/04/1981Girton, CambridgeRoyal Holloway, London
13/04/1981Girton, CambridgeBradford
20/04/1981Keble, OxfordLeicester
27/04/1981Keble, OxfordLSE
04/05/1981Keble, OxfordChrist's, Cambridge
11/05/1981Christ's, CambridgeEdinburgh
18/05/1981EdinburghMansfield, Oxford
25/05/1981EdinburghUniversity, Swansea
01/06/1981Peterhouse, CambridgeBristol
08/06/1981Peterhouse, CambridgeSt David's, Lampeter
15/06/1981St David's, LampeterJesus, Oxford
22/06/1981St David's, LampeterTrinity, Dublin
29/06/1981Lady Margaret Hall, OxfordSouthampton
06/07/1981SouthamptonStirling
13/07/1981StirlingCorpus Christi, Cambridge
20/07/1981Corpus 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.