More than you ever wanted to know about the UK's longest-running quiz show

Children in Need

Children in Need

You can rewatch the Children in Need special on iPlayer.

Glasgow v Exeter

50th series

The student series is currently showing on BBC Two on Mondays at 20:30, with the show now celebrating its 50th series.

Imperial, London

Student champions

The 2019-20 student series was won by Imperial College, London, the third time that the institution has won the series. Runners-up Corpus Christi College, Cambridge reached the final for the first time in the show's history, going one better than the 1982 team that lost in the semi-finals.

Christmas champions

Leeds University won the annual light-hearted Christmas University Challenge series by defeating a strong Wadham College, Oxford team in the final. The series featured at least three contestants (Henry Gee, Jackie Hunter, Roger Mosey) who appeared on UC as students back when Bamber Gascoigne was at the helm, and the first show also contained two (Allison Pearson and Richard Coles) who have also been on Only Connect specials.

Leeds University, Christmas 2019

Record low

Episode five of the 2019-20 series was record-breaking for all the wrong reasons. With St John's, Oxford beating Wolfson, Cambridge by 115 points to 40, it smashed the (Paxman-era) record for the lowest number of points in a game by 55 points. The previous low was 210 points, achieved in both the 2005 and 2018 series. It also tied the record for the lowest winning score.

Record breaker

The 2018-19 series took Jeremy Paxman past Bamber Gascoigne's total of 970 shows as presenter (or 971 if the 1992 Granadaland special is added). The game between Clare, Cambridge and St Edmund Hall, Oxford on 10 December 2018 was the 971st that he has chaired, consisting of (up to then) 802 regular student shows, 61 Professionals, 81 Christmas, 18 Reunited, and 9 Specials.

Help needed

Can you help track down more fixtures and results from the Bamber Gascoigne series? Click on a row in the table below:

SeriesStartEndWinner
121/09/196226/11/1963Leicester
203/12/196326/05/1965New, Oxford
325/08/196508/06/1966Oriel, Oxford
407/09/196603/06/1967Sussex
527/09/196724/07/1968Keele
602/08/196813/07/1969Sussex
720/07/196930/08/1970Churchill, Cambridge
825/10/197001/08/1971Sidney Sussex, Cambridge
917/10/197123/07/1972University, Oxford
1025/10/197205/09/1973Fitzwilliam, Cambridge
1131/10/197302/10/1974Trinity, Cambridge
1218/11/197431/10/1975Keble, Oxford
1307/11/197510/12/1976?University, Oxford
1417/12/1976?31/10/1977Durham
1507/11/197720/11/1978Sidney Sussex, Cambridge
1627/11/197811/02/1980Bradford
1718/02/198008/12/1980Merton, Oxford
1815/12/198007/12/1981Queen's, Belfast
1914/12/198123/01/1983St Andrews
2030/01/198318/12/1983Dundee
2120/01/198421/12/1984Open
2207/04/198630/05/1986Jesus, Oxford
2313/07/198704/09/1987Keble, Oxford

Do email me (if this fails then try smb1001 at gmail) if you can fill in any of the many gaps, although it is inevitable that many of the fixtures and results are now lost as Granada only has a handful of recordings from the series before 1980.

Retrospectives

I've recently added a page of links to articles by institutions reminiscing on their appearances over the years. If you're compiling one then start by taking a look at the series appearance tables (1962-87, and 1994-).

Leicester, 1963