TV Cream


Think Aloud: Johnny Ball talks to TV Cream

In the spring of 2016, TV Cream sat down with Johnny Ball to talk about his 50-year career in show business.

In this one-off podcast Johnny Ball really does reveal all. Such as…

How Bob Monkhouse took umbrage when he thought Johnny was stealing his gags; how Johnny’s big break on The Val Doonican Show went spectacularly wrong; why he originally balked at the idea of presenting Play School; how a dreadful experience on Yorkshire TV spawned the creation of Think of a Number; the reason why the scene dock doors in BBC Bristol have a chunk cut out of them; why Play Away became a more lucrative writing gig than anything the LE department had to offer; Johnny’s ill-fated sojourn to Central Television; and – and! – what went wrong on The Terry & Gaby show!

Look! Here’s a trailer!

If you don’t want to listen to it using our player (top), then download it (105.6MB). Or, to save you all this hassle, just subscribe to our podcast via iTunes. And this is our RSS feed.And here it is on Soundcloud…




  1. George White

    September 5, 2016 at 8:03 am

    great podcast. Got up early and clicked on twitter,n nearly found myself clicking on Shark TV crew, some local high school TV channel.
    I discovered Ball’s work through mothballen old books in my school library, and it helped with me maths – got me from an F to a D.

  2. TV Cream

    September 5, 2016 at 8:15 am

    George wins a special Johnny Ball no-prize for fastest digest and response evah!

  3. James Porritt

    September 6, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    Fantastic podcast, it was such a pleasure to hear a memoir of his very varied and interesting life. Was always a big fan of his, both his shows and books inspired me massively. Where is his like today?

  4. Graham Cluley

    September 7, 2016 at 1:22 am

    This was smashing. Thanks for interviewing Johnny, and thanks to Johnny for being such an important part of our childhoods.

    As they say, they don’t make ’em like that anymore.

  5. George White

    September 7, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Thank you. It’s something I’ve waited for all my life. Roll on the braw laffs!
    Cabbages and Kings is also the name of several foreign films, and a short by Randy Warshaw, Andy Sydor and Anthony Augello, a friend of my friend Velvet Rhodes’ pal Mark Musto (not Jay Leno’s Matthew Musto), and made by Billy Marshall Jr, a friend of David Zen Mansley a friend of my friend C Courtney Joyner. BIlly Marshall jr has a split imdb, but his orther short wth James Mira – AMaranth is part of my friend Elias Ganster’s Sparrow film project.

  6. THX 1139

    September 8, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    Marvellous, I still remember some of those shows and their topics (even the Wellington boots song).

    Can we expect follow up podcasts of the same high quality with Fred Harris, Derek Griffiths and Carol Leader? Not Hamble, though, best not.

  7. TV Cream

    September 8, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    Thanks for the swell comments folks!

  8. Austin Maxi

    September 11, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    ‘And that’s, the way a podcast works’. Top drawer interview and brilliantly put together. I wonder if Brian Cant would be up for an interview.

  9. Declan McCafferty

    September 18, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    Yeah this is lovely stuff.

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