The Kids Are All Right



John Barrowman


Initial for BBC One, 12 April to 14 June 2008 (8 episodes in 1 series)


So what would happen if you crossed the smart kids idea from Are You Smarter Than a 10 Year Old? with the unbeatable team concept of Eggheads? The Kids Are All Right is the answer. A team of 4 adults must answer questions against a group of 7 kids, the 'Super Kids', in order to win money.

Instant Showdown

The first round is the 'Instant Showdown'. Here, the adult team is given £5,000 with which to play the game. Taking turns, each adult must play a 3 question, head-to -head against a randomly selected Super Kid. The first to two points wins. In the event the Super Kid wins a head to head, £1000 is knocked off the adults total. If the adult wins, no money is gained. After each Super Kid has participated in a particular round, they move to the 'Kids Den' to the right of the set. This is a raised platform with some multi-coloured chairs. It is from here they will come to participate in future rounds.

The subsequent rounds vary each week, however three rounds are played, one involving two adults in order that each of the four adults participates in a round. In each of these rounds, the age of the Super Kid (the eldest if two are playing) is converted into thousands of pounds should the adults win. A win against a 15 year old would result in a £15,000 addition to the prize fund for example. In each round, the Super Kids are randomly chosen.

The games used are -

Information Overload

In this round, a single adult is chosen to play against a Super Kid. At the start of the round, a 60-second video clip is shown. Afterwards, against the clock, and on the buzzer, questions are asked based on what was seen and heard during the video. Whoever answers the most questions correctly wins.


Here two adults are elected to play against two of the Super Kids. Before the questions, a grid of 12 answers is displayed. A category is then revealed, to which two answers on the grid relate. So for example, the category Greek Godesses would relate to the answers Athena and Nike on the grid. The Super Kids go first, with both having to provide a correct answer in order to win a point. If either Super Kid provides an incorrect answer, the point for that turn is lost. As an added difficulty, team members are not allowed to confer. After the Super Kids turn, the used answers on the grid are replaced, and the adults then take their turn, following the same rules. The round continues in this fashion with each team seeing a maximum of three questions, with the team with the most points at the end winning the round.

Omission Impossible

This round involves a single adult and Super Kid. On the video screen, images are shown in turn. Amongst others, this could be a photo with a landmark missing, a long word with some letters missing, or an equation with a number missing. Below the main image are four smaller images of items, each lettered A-D, of which one fills the blank in the main image. Against the clock, the adult and Super Kid must buzz in and state which letter they believe to be the correct solution.

Double Jeopardy

This round involves two adults and two Super Kids. Taking turns, each team is shown a category, and then three possible answers. For example, the category may be Space Shuttles, with the possible answers being Discovery, Atlantis and Valiant. The rules are very much in the same vein as the Gridlocked round, with both team members having to provide a correct answer in order to score a point. Like Gridlocked, each team sees a maximum of three questions with whichever team having the most correct answers being declared the winner.

Biggest & Best

In this round a single adult and Super Kid are shown images against the clock and must buzz in and state which answer is correct based on the question. For example, the question may ask which flag has the most colours, which equation results in the smallest number, or which item travels the fastest. Whichever player has the highest score when the clock runs out is the winner.

Beat The Kids

In this final round, the jackpot that the adults have managed to accrue so far (which could in theory be as low as £1,000) is up for grabs. Starting with the youngest Super Kid and working up, an adult must answer a question against a Super Kid on the buzzer. If the adult wins the point, the Super Kid is eliminated, and the adult can play again against the next Super Kid. If the Super Kid wins the point, the adult is eliminated, and they can play again against the next adult. It's a straightforward matter of not running out of players before your opponents do. However the fact there are 4 adults against 7 Super Kids, does add some difficulty. Should the adults win, they take their jackpot, if not, they leave with nothing.

Are the Kids All Right?

This show is enjoyable enough to watch, and offers good family viewing. However it does have a few problems. Firstly, the opening round is very slow. With an average of one question every 2 minutes, and just 5 questions in total, you don't get much bang for your buck. The rather more quick-fire nature of the subsequent rounds does remedy this slightly, but the first round does seem to sit awkwardly in relation to the faster moving nature of the remainder of the show.

Another issue is the 7 vs. 4 nature of the final round. The superior knowledge of the kids is suggested frequently, yet now they are given an instant head start. Gameshows should be challenging to win in order that they don't become stale and uninteresting by virtue of contestants winning all the time. However this just seems unfair.

Overall however, this show has broad appeal. But as mentioned in the intro, it does seem to borrow ideas from other successful gameshows, and as such it does perhaps have a slight air of, 'been there, done that'.

Key moments

John Barrowman getting a little too excited, a little too often.


The original working title was The Swot Team.

The show was in development for so long that the first contestant calls actually went out more than two years before the programme finally hit our screens. If they'd managed to get it out in 2006 as planned, it would have beaten Are You Smarter (US debut: February 2007) to air and might even have looked a bit more original.

In one episode, one adult managed to beat all seven Super Kids single-handedly during the end game to win £27,000 for the adult team.

Voted the Worst New Show in this site's Poll of 2008

Web links

BBC programme page

Wikipedia entry


One of these kids is called Lentil. We ask you...'

See also

Weaver's Week review


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