Transatlantic Quiz



Lionel Hale (UK, 1945-51)

Alistair Cooke (USA, 1945-51)

Louis Allen (UK, 1976-86)

Anthony Quinton (USA, 1976-83)

Gordon Clough (USA, 1984-86)


Original team captains: Denis Brogan (UK) and Christopher Morley (USA)

1976-86 teams: Shana Alexander and Brendan Gill (USA), John Julius Norwich and Irene Thomas (UK)


BBC/NBC for BBC Light Programme and NBC Blue Network (USA), 29 July 1945 to 26 October 1947

BBC-tv, 26 November 1945, 10 to 24 June 1946 (4 episodes)

BBC Light Programme, 6 May to 29 July 1951 (13 episodes in 1 series)

BBC Radio 4, 7 November 1976 to 5 February 1986


By the magic of undersea cable, two teams of (what would nowadays be called) celebrities - one in London, the other in New York - competed in this weekly live radio quiz, answering questions on each other's country and culture. Originally (from 1941 onward) it was co-produced by the BBC and NBC for US broadcast only, but also aired in the UK from 1945. It was broadcast by the BBC Light Programme (launching on day one of the new service) and the North American Service, with Lionel Hale as the quizmaster at the London end and Alistair Cooke in New York.

Host Lionel Hale and producer Mary Adams preparing for a 1944 show with panellists D.W. Brogan and David Niven

The show was temporarily revived to tie-in with the Festival of Britain in 1951, but thereafter went into abeyance for a quarter of a century, next being revived in 1976, and becoming a regular fixture again in the 1980s. The UK team at this time was the resident London pairing on Round Britain Quiz.

Given the difficulty of sending TV pictures across the Atlantic in those pre-satellite days, the TV version only featured the London team in vision.

See also

Round Britain Quiz was loosely based on this format.

Cross Channel Quiz

Round Europe Quiz


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