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Ask the Family

THE HOME COUNTIES’ most preposterously erudite home-owners starred in this audience-free parlour-esque intellectual joustathon. Title sequence featured animated “royal” playing cards to signify members of the nuclear family. SIR ROBERT ROBINSON was your avuncular quizmaster ticking off “musical” rounds, “historical” rounds, the infamous “mother and eldest son/father and youngest child” pairings, the legendary “close-up of a tin opener, ooh, what can it be?” observation round, and of course the white-on-black hand-operated diagrams, by “Eric” (no relation to SWAP SHOP “assistant” of same name). Theme tune was ‘Acka Raga’.



  1. Des Elmes

    September 5, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    There have actually been two revivals, Dick and Dom’s being the second.

    The first, with Alan Titchmarsh, is disappointly little remembered.

    It aired on both BBC2 and UK Gold (as it was then known) in the autumn of 1999, and was much more faithful to the original show – the same mix of general knowledge questions, picture and logic puzzles, close-ups of objects etc. Plus there was still no studio audience.

    There were only two real changes – the replacement of Eric and his diagrams with computers (perfectly reasonable), and the theme tune being “Sun Ride” by John Leach, which had been used in the later years of the original show.

    Titchy fitted into Robert Robinson’s shoes remarkably well, and the families themselves were still allowed to shine.

    It’s actually a desperate shame that it lasted only one series.

  2. THX 1139

    April 19, 2015 at 1:12 am

    There’s an episode from 1982 on BBC iPlayer at the moment, and if anyone these days can answer more than five questions from it right, if that, I’ll be very surprised. Not even 21st century Mastermind would ask these, most of it’s bloody impossible.

    Also the incongruous sight of Robert Robinson introducing the theme from Convoy is something to be treasured.

  3. Richard16378

    March 30, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    I remember my parents used to have quiz book for this series, IIRC it was given as a present, complete with jokey message written by the giver.

    My Dad was a bit miffed when it was dispatched years later into a charity bag by my Mum, as the message was lost.

  4. Glenn Aylett

    April 21, 2020 at 7:53 pm

    As has been pointed out above, nearly always featured families from the Home Counties and affluent London suburbs, Northern and Scottish families were rare and if featured, would be upper middle class. The kind of programme Margot Leadbitter would approve of as the working class and most people north of Watford Gap did not exist on Ask The Family.

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