University Challenge results, 1986

These are the results of the twenty-second series which ran on weekdays from 7 April to 30 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 questions on the buzzer from that category to the two contestants with the baton. The first player to answer two would earn 15 points. After a contestant had faced two rounds 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 a further 15 points and get a standard set of three 5-point bonuses for their team 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, calculated as the average score over its two or three games, qualified for 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.

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, Cardiff280155Newcastle
15/04/1986University, Cardiff440340Newcastle
16/04/1986St Hilda's, Oxford150285Leeds
17/04/1986St Hilda's, Oxford325485Leeds
18/04/1986University, Cardiff295135Leeds
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
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 and Caius, Cambridge240310Jesus, Oxford
15/05/1986Gonville and Caius, Cambridge440545Jesus, Oxford
16/05/1986Birmingham310255Jesus, Oxford
Highest-scoring losers
19/05/1986Queen's, Belfast260360Gonville and Caius, Cambridge
20/05/1986Jesus, Oxford330265Gonville and Caius, Cambridge
21/05/1986Royal Holloway, London245250University, Cardiff
23/05/1986Birmingham200260Imperial, London
27/05/1986Jesus, Oxford285250University, Cardiff
28/05/1986Imperial, London365210Edinburgh
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.