Screen Test

: "For the method of evaluating an actor/actress's on-film performance, see Screen test."Infobox Television
show_name = Screen Test

caption =
format = Children's Game Show
picture_format = 4:3
runtime = 30 minutes
creator =
starring = Michael Rodd (1969 - 1978) Brian Trueman (1979 - 1983) Mark Curry (1984)
channel = BBC
first_aired = 1969
last_aired = 1984
num_series =
num_episodes =
country = UK
producer =
related =
imdb_id = 0403803

"Screen Test" was a UK Children's game show about films, and was broadcast from 1969 to 1984 on BBC1. It was presented by Michael Rodd until 1978, then by Brian Trueman from 1979 until 1983, with Mark Curry presenting the final series in 1984.


When it was launched in 1969, "Screen Test" was one of the earliest children's TV gameshows in the UK, and it was originally intended to be transmitted during "Blue Peter"'s annual break. As Michael Rodd commented in 2001 on Channel 4's "100 Greatest Kids' TV shows", "We made five programmes originally in black and white, which were going to go into the summer slot that "Blue Peter" left when they all went on holiday. Then, we made the next five in colour (at the time BBC2 was the only colour channel available in the UK) — so we knew we'd really arrived then!"

After a successful run of 15 years, viewing figures began to fall by the early 1980s. At this point, the BBC decided that the series had run its course, and in 1984 "Screen Test" was dropped to herald in a new era of kids' TV shows including the BBC's popular "Beat the Teacher" and ITV's successful "Blockbusters".

Programme content

Contestants were shown a series of film clips, with each one being followed by a series of questions either specifically about the content of the clip or more generally about the film from which it came. Most episodes also included a clip from a film made by the Children's Film Foundation.

Aside from the quiz, the programme also featured a young film-makers' competition. Viewers were invited to send in films they had made themselves to be judged by anonymous experts. The prize at stake was a selection of camera gear and other equipment. This competition was first introduced in the 1973 series. In 2001, Michael Rodd commented on Channel 4's "100 Greatest Kids' TV shows" that it was included because "with Screen Test only being shown once a week, and with only four contestants each week, there were thousands of young people who could not possibly ever take part in the programme, so the BBC decided to launch a competition to encourage viewers to take an interest in making their own films." The Oscar-winning Jan Pinkava was the winner of the 1980 series with his film "The Rainbow". Runners up were awarded with a sophisticated looking certificate of merit that would be sent in the mail. One of the young film makers, Will Bilton, reported that, after his 8mm animated film "Gus & Guzzles" was broadcast on 4 November 1984 in the final series before "Screen Test" was cancelled, he received an unexpected cheque of £15. This motivated him to continue with his career in animation. [cite web | url = | title = Will Bilton interview.] The clips of Disney films in "Screen Test" (also in "The Wonderful World of Disney" and "Disney Time") provided the UK audience with much of its exposure to them, as they were not shown on British television during the programme's run. The programme's military-style introductory theme tune was called "Marching There and Back", composed by Syd Dale.

In popular culture

The 2007 film "Son of Rambow" features a pair of young film-makers; they attempt to create their own movie after being inspired by the "Screen Test" competition. [ [,,2254059,00.html The Guardian: Let's hold the premiere in the front room] ]


External links

*imdb_title|id=0403803|title=Screen Test
* [ "Screen Test"] at

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