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University Challenge results, 1986

These are the results of the series which ran on weekdays from April to May 1986 on ITV.

The series employed a new experimental format that was used again in the 1987 series. With the shows running Monday to Friday, each week consisted of five shows in which two pairs of teams would play each other twice. The first would use the conventional scoring system, and the second used a new 'head-to-head' system (marked in green in the table below), with the scores starting from the previous day's result. The head-to-head shows featured 'pass the baton' in which a stick with six lights would start with the contestant on the left of each team. The contestant from the team losing at that point would pick from a large set of categories and Bamber would ask five-point questions on the buzzer from that category to the two contestants with the baton. The first player to answer two would then get a standard set of bonuses for their team, then the baton would move on to the next player. When a team had six right, and thus light up the whole baton, they would receive additional points and the lights would reset.

The winners from the two pairs of games would then play each other in a single knockout game to decide who would go through to the quarter-finals. The highest-scoring team who lost their head-to-head also went through to the quarter-finals, as did the winner of a game between the next two highest-scoring teams that were not already through.

For the quarter-finals and semi-finals it was a single knockout game, and the final was a best-of-three, though only two were recorded if the same team won both.

The series was also notable for using a tiered studio so that the teams actually were stacked above one another as the classic 'split-screen view during starters' suggests.

First round
07/04/1986Pembroke, Cambridge160180St. Catherine's, Oxford
08/04/1986Pembroke, Cambridge305355St. Catherine's, Oxford
09/04/1986Royal Holloway, London230120Dundee
10/04/1986Royal Holloway, London385290Dundee
11/04/1986Royal Holloway, London210160St. Catherine's, Oxford
14/04/1986University College, Cardiff280155Newcastle
15/04/1986University College, Cardiff440340Newcastle
16/04/1986St. Hilda's, Oxford150285Leeds
17/04/1986St. Hilda's, Oxford325485Leeds
18/04/1986University College, Cardiff295135Leeds
21/04/1986Bristol155195Liverpool
22/04/1986Bristol380320Liverpool
23/04/1986Bath110210St David's, Lampeter
24/04/1986Bath235430St David's, Lampeter
25/04/1986Bristol270155St David's, Lampeter
28/04/1986Edinburgh325145Magdalene, Cambridge
29/04/1986Edinburgh530315Magdalene, Cambridge
30/04/1986Stirling120195Salford
01/05/1986Stirling225340Salford
02/05/1986Edinburgh27080Salford
05/05/1986Imperial, London270120Somerville, Oxford
06/05/1986Imperial, London485225Somerville, Oxford
07/05/1986Sidney Sussex, Cambridge205235Queen's, Belfast
08/05/1986Sidney Sussex, Cambridge335435Queen's, Belfast
09/05/1986Queen's, Belfast230280Imperial, London
12/05/1986Downing, Cambridge165295Birmingham
13/05/1986Downing, Cambridge355530Birmingham
14/05/1986Gonville & Caius, Cambridge240310Jesus, Oxford
15/05/1986Gonville & Caius, Cambridge440545Jesus, Oxford
16/05/1986Birmingham310255Jesus, Oxford
Highest-scoring losers
19/05/1986Queen's, Belfast260360Gonville & Caius, Cambridge
Quarter-Final
20/05/1986Jesus, Oxford330265Gonville & Caius, Cambridge
21/05/1986Royal Holloway, London245250University College, Cardiff
22/05/1986Edinburgh325240Bristol
23/05/1986Birmingham200260Imperial, London
Semi-Final
27/05/1986Jesus, Oxford285250University College, Cardiff
28/05/1986Imperial, London365210Edinburgh
Final
29/05/1986Imperial, London215295Jesus, Oxford
30/05/1986Imperial, London150305Jesus, Oxford

The winning team representing Jesus College, Oxford were Simon Batten (Modern History), Katherine Jarman (Classics), Geffyn While (Modern History) and Jonathan Smith (English).

Winning teams advancing to the next round are in bold, with highest-scoring losers in italics.