Think Of A Number

Think Of A Number, 1978

Think Of A Number was the first of many science and mathematics programs to be made by Johnny Ball.

Around 1978, Johnny Ball was perhaps best known for his role as a presenter on the long running pre-school TV series ‘Playschool’  He also wrote jokes for other kids TV shows ‘Play Away’ and ‘Crackerjack!’  However among his many talents was an interest in science and mathematics.  This lead to him to presenting his own science and maths show on the BBC.

Think Of A Number ran for thirty six episodes over six series between 1979 and 1984, there was even a Think Of A Number roadshow.

The show was a huge hit with audiences and even won a BAFTA Harlequin Award for the series 1 episode ‘Time’

Some people over the years have labelled Think Of A Number as a Tomorrow’s World (science and technology show for adults) for kids.


Each week Johnny Ball he would engage with the studio audience of children, as he  explained to them (and us watching at home) how maths, science & technology worked.

He made maths and science interesting by showing us practical experiments and what science could do.  He would use members of the studio audience to help out with his experiments

Ball’s unique style of presenting used a mixture of comedy and tomfoolery to make sure you felt at ease and not feel like we were being preached to.









Presented By: Johnny Ball


Channel: BBC1
Original Transmission Dates: 12th April 1978 – 31st October 1984