think box

Johnny Ball

Johnny Ball (born May 23, 1938) is a British television personality, a great populariser of mathematics and the father of former BBC Radio 1 DJ, and TV host, Zoë Ball.

Early life

Originally from Bristol, he spent his primary years there and later in his childhood moved to Bolton, Lancashire where he attended Bolton Grammar School. He then did national service in the Royal Air Force, worked as a Butlin's Redcoat and was an entertainer in northern clubs and in cabaret.

Television and radio career

He was a regular fixture on children's television in the 1970s and 1980s, presenting several series of popular science and technology programmes intended for children (including Think of a Number; Think Again; Think Backwards; Think...This Way and Johnny Ball Reveals All). He was also one of the hosts of infant education programme Play School. All of these shows (except the ITV programme ...Reveals All) appeared on the BBC. Ball's shows were renowned for presenting scientific and technological principles in an entertaining and accessible way for young people.

In 2003, he appeared on The Terry and Gaby Show in which he answered viewers' questions, though he prefers radio interviews to TV appearances, of which he makes very few. In July, 2004 he was named in the Radio Times list of the top 40 most eccentric TV presenters of all time.

Series guide

Think of a Number

Think Again


Think! This Way


Johnny Ball Reveals All

(Source: BBC)

Other activities


  • Ball, Johnny (2005). Think of a number. Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 1-4053-1031-6.
  • Ball, Johnny (2005). Go Figure!. Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 0-7566-1374-4. (American edition of "Think of a Number")
  • Ball, Johnny (1982). Johnny Ball's Think Box. Puffin. ISBN 0-14-031545-4.
  • Ball, Johnny (1987). Johnny Ball's Second Thinks. Puffin. ISBN 0-14-031819-4.
  • Ball, Johnny (1983). Plays for Laughs. Puffin. ISBN 0-14-031548-9.
  • Ball, Johnny (1979). Think of a number. BBC. ISBN 0-563-17755-1. (different from the 2005 book of the same name).


tales of maths and legends (a show in the lowry manchester talking about mathematicians such as renne descartes and alkwharizmi)

External links

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