Puzzle Trail



Donna Reeve and Andy Johnson (1980)

Tommy Boyd (1981-2) (and Sally Grace from 1981)

Howard Stableford and Kirsty Miller (1983)

Davy Jones (of the Monkees) and Eileen Fletcher (1984)


BBC1, 15 September 1980 to 21 September 1984 (45 episodes in 5 series)


Addictive write-in competition game for children, usually scheduled as a short programme that appeared regularly over a number of school days. Skits and sketches delivered a steady drip-drip of clues as to the exact location. The winner was the first person out of the hat to send in the right answer.

Donna Reeve takes a look at the map

Series 1 concerned Puzzle Island and consisted of only five programmes, Monday to Friday. More than 12,000 correct solutions were received. The winner was the first to identify the correct square from the 64 on the map.

In Series 2, Lost and Found, Tommy Boyd had lost something special and retraced the 36 places he knew he had been before finding it at the end of the fifth and final programme. Viewers needed to identify what had been lost, and where it was.

For Series 3, Tommy Boyd (again) embarked on a two-week trail, which also taught about Ordnance Survey mapreading. The first week involved finding a location on the grid; that location concealed a long numeric code that directed viewers to the actual treasure. The grid was geographically accurate, and based on locations on the east bank of the Severn in south Gloucestershire.

Series 4 concerned The Puzzletown Plans. This time the map was a plan of Puzzletown's High Street and viewers had three weeks to identify who had stolen the plans, which safe box they'd taken them from, and what the plans were for.

Series 5 was The Riddle of Skully Island. This time, the correct building on a map had to be found, then the exact point in the identified building was the answer. Strangely, a version of this trail was published in the Puzzle Trail book (by BBC/Knight books) before the series was broadcast, although some of the clues and answers were changed.


Produced by Clive Doig, who wrote four of the mysteries - the 1981 series was written by Jeremy Beadle.

Theme music

Opening titles from the BBC Motion Graphics Archive


To correct something on this page or post an addition, please complete this form and press "Send":
If you are asking us a question, please read our contact us page and FAQ first.

Name: E-mail:   
A Labyrinth Games site.
Design by Thomas.
Printable version
Editors: Log in