Is That A Fact (CBBC, 1989-1990)
This is yet another CBBC show where my memory is rather vague, but as there isn’t much online, it’s another one that is worth featuring, because as always, there will definitely be someone out there who also remembers this. Is That A Fact was a show that looked at old myths and stories, and tried to determine if they were actually true.
The show was hosted by Dave Benson-Phillips (who was also hosting Playdays on CBBC around this time, and this was before the long-running Get Your Own Back) as Sheerluck Holmes (what a terrific pun), and alongside him was Wanda Wonder (Alwyne Taylor, someone who I don’t remember seeing on any other CBBC shows), who were known as The Factfinders. They always wore shirts that had a big question mark on them.
This wasn’t a game show as such, but there would still be plenty of interesting questions asked, so sit down and listen carefully because you might learn something. Every week a different school from across the country was featured, and various children (who were known as The Supersleuths) would try to solve the mysteries and be asked questions by Dave, who somehow magically beamed into their school.
After Dave had beamed back into the studio, he and Alwyne would also be assisted by George the computer, who looked suspiciously to me like simply a box painted silver with a few flashing lights and buttons that had some arms waving out of it. I hope they remembered to let them out of the box at the end of the show. And there was also UK9, which is series two was renamed UK10, maybe they installed an upgrade between series.
And in the second series there would also be a competition at the end of the show, where viewers were challenged to spot the deliberate mistake in the statements that were made, so everyone who wanted to enter had to get their pencils ready for the address. The hosts often burst into song too, and Dave also sang the closing theme, which really was too much.
There were two series of Is That A Fact, and every edition was 15 minutes long, but there weren’t many repeat runs, and I don’t recall the show being featured in the CBBC On Choice strand. I also remember on Get Your Own Back in the mid-90s long after the show had ended when Dave would say something daft and the studio audience would reply with “is that a fact?” which was a nice in-joke.