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.
As a special show, the winners of the series were invited to New Zealand to play the New Zealand champions, a format that was repeated the following year when the 1987 New Zealand champions came over to the UK.
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.
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.