Knock Your Block Off



Steve Blacknell


Central for ITV, 7 September to 21 December 1985 (as part of TX)


Clever and memorable kids' game. This was a segment which appeared as part of TX (presented by Tony Slattery and Sue Robbie), one of the several ITV Saturday morning kids' shows that tried to take on the stranglehold the BBC exerted with Saturday Superstore.

Both teams of two children had a wall of bricks, atop which was a line of gold-coloured bricks. The other bricks were an assortment of different colours (about six; probably red, yellow, green, blue, brown and orange), plus a few special blocks which bore the Knock Your Block Off logo. The contestant on each team who answered the questions was called the "Brains", the one who knocked the blocks out of the wall was called the "Bodger". The contestants wore pale blue boiler suits, white Nike boot trainers and yellow hard hats with a "KYBO" sticker on them.

The host would ask a question to the two kids on buzzers who raced to press theirs and guess the answer to the question (though the other kids could run up and press and guess as well if they wanted to). A large set of lights flashed on and off in the six colours, plus a black-and-white "?" light, and the contestant who got the question right pressed the buzzer to stop the lights with only one illuminated. The other team then had 10 seconds (which the audience obligingly counted down) to remove a brick of that colour from their wall by pushing it "through" the wall, using a stick with a bulbous end, and out the other side. If they had run out of blocks of that colour, or if the "?" light was illuminated, then they had to knock out one of the KYBO-logo blocks instead (doing that won them a small prize of some sort, though). Failure to do this in the allotted time meant a Bean Bag Attack - the kids on the team who failed to knock out said block went and cowered as the other team were allowed to throw bean bags in the general direction of the failing team's wall for ten seconds whilst the audience cheered and jeered and some cheesy graphics flashed on the screen. The game was terminated by one team having one or more of their golden blocks at the top of their walls dislodged - then they lost, and serves them right.

The game was played three times over the course of the morning, the winners of the first two runs meeting in the final. Good clean fun and not at all similar to "The Wall Game" which was on a year or two later and was all American and co-operative.


"Bean Bag Attack!"


A Knock Your Block Off board game was made.


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