TV UK TV

Great Egg Race, The (BBC-2 1979-1986, Professor Heinz Wolff)

Great Egg Race

Presented for much of it’s run by the eccentric Professor Heinz Wolff, The Great Egg Race was a long running BBC2 early evening game show staple for much of the 1980’s and which saw three teams of boffins having to construct various devices within a short space of time.

Kind of like a low key Scrapheap Challenge and usually studio bound the show was initially presented by Brian Cant and Charlotte Allen, Johnny Ball and Lesley Judd also had a spell as hosts but it is the Professor (who was initially just the judge) that everyone remembers! The show was always great fun and had its roots in a University experiment which saw teams competing to transport an egg across a room without it touching the floor. This idea of transporting an egg without breaking would form a regular part of the show for many years.

Professor Wolff took everything oh so seriously and was sometimes a little stilted in his role and not always easy to understand but he was perfect for such esoteric fare.

Later episodes of the series saw it break free of the confines of the studio and one episode was even set on an oil rig! In 2000 (from 1 April to 8 July) BBC digital channel Choice broadcast 13 fifteen minute episodes under the banner The Great Egg Race Rides Again.

Aardman Animations (home of Wallace and Gromit) provided the excellent title sequence.

production details
UK / BBC-2 / 68×30 minute episodes / Broadcast 2 January 1979 to 12 September 1986

Producer: Charles Huff

The hosts besides Wolff were
Brian Cant (1979)
Charlotte Allen (1979 and 1982)
Johnny Ball (1980)
Hilary Henson (1980-1981)
Lesley Judd (1984)