University Challenge results, 1975-76

These are the results of the thirteenth series of University Challenge which ran weekly on ITV, starting in the week of 7 November 1975 and probably ending in December 1976. In Anglia the series was shown on Fridays at 17:20, 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 only record of the finals in the TV listings are a repeat of the semi-finals and finals in August 1977, in the middle of the 1976-7 series and over a year after the rest of the shows in the 1975-6 series had apparently finished. There may thus be some mix-up in my lists of games between this series and the following one, in particular if there were not four quarter-finals.

The Christmas special in 1975 saw the 1974-5 winners, Keble College, Oxford, play a team of Dons from their college.

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
07/11/1975KeeleSt Hugh's, Oxford
05/12/1975Wadham, Oxford185115Southampton
12/12/1975Wadham, OxfordChurchill, Cambridge
19/12/1975Churchill, CambridgeWorcester, Oxford
02/01/1976Churchill, CambridgeBrunel
09/01/1976Trinity, CambridgeEssex
16/01/1976Trinity, Cambridge
23/01/1976Trinity, Cambridge
15/10/1976Trinity, Cambridge215225Churchill, Cambridge
12/11/1976University, OxfordChurchill, Cambridge
19/11/1976King's, LondonGlasgow
26/11/1976University, OxfordKing's, London
03/12/1976University, OxfordKing's, London
10/12/1976University, OxfordKing's, London
26/12/1975Keble StudentsKeble Dons

The series champions from University College, Oxford were Gavin Griffiths, Brian Keelan, Ian Kramer, and Chris Shapcott.

Other teams appearing on this series include Aberystwyth; Balliol, Oxford; Bedford, London; Downing, Cambridge; Exeter; Hughes Hall, Cambridge; Manchester; Newnham, Cambridge; St David's, Lampeter; Sussex; York.

In their first game Balliol, Oxford lost to King's, London 230-285. Hughes Hall lost their first game to St David's, Lampeter, who then lost to University, Oxford. Brunel lost their first game to Churchill, Cambridge, apparently becoming "the only team ever to reach half time in a UC transmission without scoring any points at all". Downing, Cambridge player Manchester in their first game, Sussex in their second and won a third before losing to University, Oxford in the quarter-finals.

The Manchester team, that included the journalist David Aaronovitch, became notorious during their heavy defeat to Downing, Cambridge for initially answering questions with the name of a Socialist leader, ostensibly as a protest against the Oxbridge bias of the show, although they never explained the reasons behind their behaviour. Filmed in November 1975, the show was stopped several times by the producers to try to reason with Manchester, who eventually relented and started to answer as best they could. The show was nonetheless broadcast in early 1976. Aaronovitch described the reaction of the city's residents as "Here's this bloody great University, stuck in the middle, has eaten up all these streets bit by bit, and you would have thought the least they could do is give us some reason to feel proud of them. And now look at this." Manchester were then banned from the show until in Autumn 1979 a student managed to convince the producers that they could apply again. This time the team was selected carefully and managed to reach the semi-finals before losing to the Queens', Cambridge team that included Stephen Fry.

Winning teams advancing to the next round are in bold.