Star Turn



Bernard Cribbins (1976-78)

Graeme Garden (1979-81)


BBC1, 5 May 1976 to 19 July 1981


Performance competition aimed at kids (and aired in the after-school childrens' block) but actually featuring two teams of kid-friendly adults. Two teams of performers were given various performance tasks (charades, singing, telling jokes, telling stories, etc.). Points were given out pretty much on the host's whim.

Regularly featured the two teams acting out a play featuring detective Ivor Notion, with the kids in the audience representing the two teams spotting the mistakes and anything else that had been especially hidden in the script. Another feature we vaguely remember was each celebrity from one team in turn asking all the members of the other team to act out an everyday (or maybe not so everyday) action - the few we can remember are: 'Eat an ice cream', 'Fall asleep' and, probably best of all, 'Jump off a bus'.

Key moments

During the Ivor Notion play, Cribbins would sit in the audience, a positively Holmesian deerstalker atop his bonce. At the crucial moment, Ivor Notion would - quick ninety-degree rotation of said deerstalker! - "have a notion", identify the perpetrator and save the day. Surely the most significant chapeau in a game show until the Helmet of Justice a decade or so later.


Strangely seems to have changed its title between Star Turn and Star Turn Challenge on a regular basis. Michael Hoskin comes to our rescue: "From memory, the celebrities on the teams on "Star Turn" had no particular connection with each other. But on "Star Turn Challenge", each team represented a group of linked people. E.g. once they had Edmonds, Chegwin and Philbin on one team representing Swap Shop." They played the cast of Angels. Another classic matchup was The Goodies vs The Liver Birds.

Noted for its manual "card-flipping"-style scoreboard.

Web links

Opening titles from 1976, 1978 and 1979 in the BBC Motion Graphics Archive


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