Sunday, 4 January 2015
53 Screen Test
First watched : Uncertain
This stalwart started on Wednesday 18th November 1970.
Screen Test was a quiz show for kids. Four contestants were asked questions relating ( in variable degree ) to a film clip they had just watched. One of the questions usually demanded recall of a minute observation , an idea shamelessly ripped off by The Krypton Factor a few years later. At first the quiz would be broken up by a small feature about some aspect of film-making but in 1973 the Young Film-maker of the Year competition was integrated into the format instead ( the only famous winner was Ratatouille director Jan Pinkava in 1980 ). I think there were usually four clips including one from a film that was more or less current and one that you'd never heard of, made by the Children's Film Foundation ( although I did see some of these on Saturday mornings at the ABC in Rochdale later in the decade ). The prizes were always Premium Bonds; I wonder if anyone's still holding them and whether any contestant had a big win ?
The programme was hosted by the genial Michael Rodd who looked like he'd dipped his hair in quick-setting concrete before going on screen. I don't remember either of the later presenters ( it went on till 1984 ) so I guess I tuned out some time in the late seventies.
Most of it has been wiped but there are reportedly three of the Rodd series still extant. It was a big break for Rodd who was only 26 when it started and he went on to Record Breakers and Tomorrow's World. At the start of the eighties he formed his own production company Blackrod and after two series on ITV The Real World and Circuit Training he ceased doing any presenting although he pops up now and again to contribute to business programmes and nostalgia shows.