Home TV by Decade TV Shows - 1950s They’re Off

They’re Off

1 9 5 6 (UK)
8 x 30 minute episodes

This short-lived early quiz show from Granada Television was racing-themed and featured contestants inserted into comic hobby horses. After some agonising happy chat from host Nicholas Parsons (dressed in full Ascot regalia), they were asked a series of dumbed-down questions by Larry Cross.

If they got the answers right they moved a number of lengths (the studio was marked out like a giant hopscotch board) with the “horses” being led by four cute ladies in cutaway bathing costumes (known as Stable Lasses).

There were bells and whistles and cries of “They’re off!” and a studio audience standing around a rail instead of sitting in chairs, and a judge in the judge’s box – and some byplay with a donkey.

There were prizes for everybody, including the horse which came in last.

The programme aired on Wednesday nights from July to September 1956.

Clerk/Host
Nicholas Parsons
Course steward
Larry Cross