University Challenge results, 1987

These are the results of the twenty-third series which ran on weekdays from 13 July to 4 September 1987 on ITV, plus three special Christmas shows between the series champions of the UK and New Zealand. This was the final series hosted by Bamber Gascoigne, and was followed by a seven-year gap before BBC picked it up again in 1994.

The format was the same as the 1986 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.

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.

At Christmas a series of three games were held in the UK between the series winners and the champions of the New Zealand version of the show, following on from the games held in New Zealand the previous year.

First round
13/07/1987King's, London220265Open
14/07/1987King's, London310505Open
20/07/1987Hughes Hall, Cambridge145295Essex
21/07/1987Hughes Hall, Cambridge350470Essex
27/07/1987Keble, Oxford330205New Hall, Cambridge
28/07/1987Keble, Oxford600350New Hall, Cambridge
29/07/1987Reading35520University, Oxford
30/07/1987Reading110930University, Oxford
31/07/1987Keble, Oxford355185University, Oxford
05/08/1987Trinity, Cambridge285190St John's, Oxford
06/08/1987Trinity, Cambridge480455St John's, Oxford
07/08/1987Trinity, Cambridge370115Hull
12/08/1987St Andrews225195Churchill, Cambridge
13/08/1987St Andrews440455Churchill, Cambridge
14/08/1987Churchill, Cambridge260255Aberystwyth
17/08/1987University, London270250St Anne's, Oxford
18/08/1987University, London460530St Anne's, Oxford
21/08/1987St Anne's, Oxford355120Bradford
Highest-scoring losers
25/08/1987Exeter265285University, Oxford
27/08/1987Keble, Oxford355290Trinity, Cambridge
28/08/1987Churchill, Cambridge145365St Anne's, Oxford
01/09/1987Open335405University, Oxford
02/09/1987Keble, Oxford400315St Anne's, Oxford
03/09/1987Keble, Oxford360305University, Oxford
04/09/1987Keble, Oxford365295University, Oxford
UK v New Zealand Christmas Specials
29/12/1987Keble, Oxford280200Otago, New Zealand
30/12/1987Keble, Oxford30095Otago, New Zealand
31/12/1987Keble, Oxford215130Otago, New Zealand

The final champions of the Bamber era were thus Keble College, Oxford, consisting of Geoffrey Smith (Modern Languages), Stephen Follows (English), Steven Brindle (History) and Jonathan Goodfellow (Metallurgy).

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