Screen Test, 1970

First of all apologies, once you’ve read this post the theme will be playing in your head for days !

Screen Test was a Children’s game show that aired on the BBC f0r fourteen years.  In that time it went through three presenters, twenty one series and including six specials a mammoth two hundred and twenty six shows.

Perhaps the most memorable part of the show was it’s famous theme tune: “Marching There And Back” by Syd Dale.

Not sure why Screen Test came to an end, but sadly only eighty five episodes still remain in BBC archives.


An observation-based quiz for schoolchildren. In early series, four school children (usually two boys and two girls, and nearly always in school uniform) would watch a film-clip, then the presenter would ask each of them in turn a question about the visual or verbal content.

If they answered incorrectly, one of their opponents could buzz in for a bonus point. This would continue for several rounds, then the final round was on the buzzer, with points being lost for incorrect answers.

The winners would come back in semi-finals, with a chance to get into the grand final. The overall prize was, in some series at least, a video camera.

This format continued until 1984 when for the final series several changes were made not least a new presenter: Mark Curry.   Other changes were: the set from desks to open chairs for both host and contestants.  There were changes to the game too. Now two teams of three contestants play, competing on behalf of their home county.

Only the four highest-scoring teams made it through to the semi-finals and the overall winners went on to play a team from ‘Grange Hill’, a concept that would soon be taken over by another Kids TV quiz: ‘First Class’. The final show was probably the only one ever to have a studio audience.

A running competition throughout all series was: Young Film Makers it encouraged viewers at home to make their own short film.  The prize for which was a trophy awarded at the end of each series.










Michael Rodd (1970 – 1979)
Brian Trueman (1979 – 1983)
Mark Curry (1984)


Channel: BBC1
Produced By: BBC Manchester
Original Transmission Dates: 15th November 1970 – 20th December 1984