Johnny Ball



The Adventure Game (contestant)

Fun and Games

The Great Egg Race

Johnny Ball Games

Puzzle Panel (panellist)

Secrets Out!!!

Simply Complicated (judge)

Strictly Come Dancing (participant)



Born in Bristol in 1938, Ball is a true broadcasting legend. He was initially famous for Play School and Play Away, but more importantly went on to present the many Think series for children - Think Of A Number, Think Again, Think This Way, Think It - Do It, Think Backwards and "Johnny Ball Reveals All", all of which made learning fun, long before anyone had come up with that horrible buzzword "edutainment". Not really seen on TV anymore, and certainly not on kids' telly, more's the pity. But still enthusiastically doing his maths-made-joyous stuff for schools, and mighty fine stuff it is too.


Is father of Zoe Ball and thus father-in-law to Norman "Fatboy Pizzafreak International" Cook. But you knew that already.

He plays jazz drums and says his favourite record is Art Blakey's Drum Suite.

He served as Rector of the University of Glasgow from 1993 to 1996.

He and a host of other 'Play School' and 'Play Away' presenters made a kids' record entitled 'Bang On A Drum', featuring a number of songs that had been performed on both those programmes. Ball's songs were 'Wheels Keep Turning' and 'Building My House'.

He made a very welcome cameo appearance as (guess what?) a maths teacher in a 2000 edition of ITV's popular 1970's-set sitcom "The Grimleys".

Books / Tapes

Think Of A Number (hardback, 2005)

Go Figure!: A Totally Cool Book About Numbers (hardback, 2005)

Think Box (paperback)

Second Thinks (paperback)


Official website

Web links

Internet Movie Database entry

Wikipedia entry


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