CBBC Memories – FOT.

FOT (CBBC, 1993-1996)

Hello, and welcome to… a great show from BBC Scotland that was originally shown on the CBBC strand on Sunday mornings before moving to the afternoons where you had to sort out the fictional from the factual.

The show began with a very odd opening sequence with some guy in a horrid chequered suit shouting at us how the show worked. It was easy. All we had to do was to watch, listen, and decide if what we saw was FOT… false or true! vlcsnap-00346

There were some very odd stories on the show which made it all the more difficult to decide if they were real or not. Features included celebrities being interviewed by the hosts Steve McKenna and Mairi McHaffie including Matthew Corbett and Michaela Strachan who turned up to tell a story which we had to determine was false or true. vlcsnap-00348

There were also clips shown from the latest music videos and films which featured three statements which were either false or true. When the “FOT” symbol appeared on-screen, it was time to make up our minds before the answer was revealed. Would we be right or wrong? vlcsnap-00352

Some of the best parts of the show were regular features including History’s Mysteries which featured a strange historical story, Beastly Tails which had strange animal stories, and Bizarre Update At 11:45 which had various odd stories from around the world. Hi, I’m Ed Weinachtsbaum! vlcsnap-00354

Strangest of all though was Learning How, a really odd parody of those Open University/Tomorrow’s World-type programmes with Michael Rowe and his terrific beard who told a ridiculous scientific story. vlcsnap-00353

At the end of every episode there was a competition where viewers had to phone one of two numbers if they thought the story was false or true. The following week six people who got it right were picked at random and won a prize. There were also lots of weird graphics and even the way the answers were revealed was odd with “F” or “T” appearing on various unlikely things. vlcsnap-00356

The show then ended with a close-up of the guy’s chequered suit as the credits ran in an almost illegible typeface. Ah, the lost art of the bizarre closing credits sequence… vlcsnap-00347

FOT is yet another one of those shows of which there is now zero chance of it ever being repeated or released on DVD but it was another terrifically quirky show that I always liked to watch. And do I think that is true.

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