Beat the Teacher

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Superb quiz show which aired as part of Children's BBC on BBC1 between 1984 and 1988 and hosted first by Howard Stableford (1st series), then Paul Jones (2nd & 3rd series) and finally Bruno Brookes (4th & 5th series).

The show, devised by Clive Doig (who had previously created the hits Jigsaw and Puzzle Trail), pitted a school pupil against a teacher. To level the playing field, the questions were typically of a lateral-thinking or trick type (e.g. "What is the simplest thing you could look at to see the back of your neck?"). Correct answers earned between one and four moves on a mechanical noughts-and-crosses board, where each square had a revolving block in it which revolved to show X-(blank)-O-(blank). It was therefore important to remember which symbol was due to come up next on the currently-blank squares. Points were scored by creating lines of your symbol, with a bonus for filling the entire board (after which it was randomised).

The series ran during the autumn term, four days a week for between six and eight weeks.