Home TV by Decade TV Shows - 1950s Criss Cross Quiz

Criss Cross Quiz

1 9 5 7 – 1 9 6 7 (UK)
342 x 30 minute episodes

Criss Cross Quiz was a television game show from Granada based on noughts and crosses. The concept was imported from America where it was known as Tic Tac Dough.

Played on a grid of nine squares, two contestants had to answer a question correctly to put a nought or a cross in a square. They then had to get three noughts or three crosses in a row either horizontally, vertically or diagonally to win the game. A wrong answer put your opponent’s symbol in the square.


Questions were asked from categories as diverse as films, quotations, nicknames, Africa, the 1920s, currency or potluck.

Every answer would win £10 (except for the middle square which was worth £20) and if a game was drawn the prize money was doubled for the next game.

Winners stayed on the show until they were beaten, although a rule capping the maximum amount a contestant could win was introduced after one lucky player walked away with £2,360.

Host Jeremy Hawk had enjoyed a long career in music halls and on London’s West End stages. He also appeared on television as straight man to Benny Hill, Arthur Askey and Norman Wisdom.

When he left the show in 1962 he was replaced first by Bill Grundy, and then by Canadian-born Barbara Kelly (pictured below), best-known as a panellist on the British version of What’s My Line?.

A children’s version of the show – Junior Criss Cross Quiz – was produced the same year the adult version started, although the children played for prizes instead of money.

Presenters on the children’s version were Jeremy Hawk, Chris Kelly, Bob Holness, Mike Sarne, Chris Howland, Gordon Luck, Peter Wheeler, Bill Grundy, Danny Blanchflower and Barbara Kelly.

Jeremy Hawk appeared in the famous “nuts, whole hazelnuts” TV commercial for Cadbury’s Whole Nut chocolate in the 1970s.