I’ve Just Found Out That I’m A Test Card Baby!


What was on the telly when I was dropped?

I’m always fascinated by finding out what was the Number One song in the UK charts when someone was born.

Now, thanks to the BBC Genome Project we can do exactly the same for television shows…

Thanks to some very patient people at the BBC every copy of the TV listings magazine, The Radio Times, has been uploaded online so anyone can check any BBC radio or TV schedule between 1923 and 2009. I couldn’t wait to find out what TV show was being broadcast the very second I came into this world…

I was born at 08:38 on the 22nd March 1978 but sadly the BBC used to have times when there were no programmes on at all – this was called Closedown. During Closedown they would usually show a Test Card so it’s “highly likely” something similar to this is what was playing on telly as I was born…

Now that’s not very exciting is it? So what was the first actual show to be broadcast during my first hours alive?

I was very, very pleased with the answer. It could easily have been something boring like Jackanory (which was the second programme) but luckily it was one of my favourite cartoons – Roobarb. The title of the episode was “When Roobarb was being Bored then not being Bored” and here it is…

Other shows included Playschool, Mr. Men, John Craven’s Newsround and Touché Turtle.

In the hit school drama, Grange Hill, this was what was going on…

“Ann has a good chance of being elected to the school council, but she reckons without the rather unorthodox tactics adopted by Micky Doyle, a newcomer to Form 1 Alpha. “

The Wednesday Film was “The Brain”, there was a documentary about the Hong Kong police and comedy was provided by The Liver Birds

It was then sport, news weather and shutdown. What an exciting first day I had.

I found this really interesting. If you can do it, try it and share with me as I’d love to find out “your first Telly”

11 thoughts on “I’ve Just Found Out That I’m A Test Card Baby!

  1. The testcard would have had only tone on BBC1 until music began at 9am. BBC2 was off the air until 9am with testcard and tone, then music until Gharbar at 10.20am. Those were the days…


  2. Oh, I loved Roobarb. He had a friend called “Custard” and the theme music but just so hip what with that electric guitar.

    You were born in a great year, Steve, cause that was the year I left school! Now I’m showing my age as well. Oh, and I have a CD called “Test Card Music” – yep there is actually a CD of the music they were playing when you were born.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As I was born just after midnight, I was a test card baby for sure! The first thing on BBC 1 that day however, was rather appropriate: For Schools and Colleges – Discovering Science: Air and Breathing, Introduced by MICHAEL UNDERWOOD

    Liked by 1 person


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s