Adam Hart-Davis




Fun and Games (devisor/producer)

Inspiration! (team captain)

The Personality Test (guest host)


Enthusiastic populariser of science, Adam Hart-Davis' first TV break was working as a production assistant on Magnus Pyke's science series in the 1970s. He went on to produce shedloads of schools' programmes for Yorkshire TV before getting himself a bike and some lurid lycra and going in front of the camera for "Local Heroes". In recent years he's been kept busy telling us what various periods of history did for us, as well as sidelines in writing, scientific photography and experimental beard research.


He also did a programme, Science Shack, in which he and a team of fellow-experts investigated whether humans can do impossible things, such as fly, walk on water or become invisible. It was interesting and did always show some possibilities for achieving the impossibility in hand, but the ideas ultimately proved to be flawed in one way or another. One of his engineering assistants was Jem Stansfield, a few years before he became the best thing about family science show Bang Goes the Theory.

He's been known for wearing all sorts of strange things on his shows: the pink-and-yellow lycra (at least it wasn't Mr Blobby-style spots) for Local Heroes, all manner of historical get-ups for the various What Ye Olde People Did For Us series, and that stripy all-over swimsuit that comes out whenever he is required to go in the water. Perhaps the oddest thing of all, though, is something he wears anyway: not just odd socks, but odd shoes. He once told Radio Times, "I have come to the conclusion that to have both shoes the same colour is a sad waste of opportunity". Apparently he was once reprimanded by the navy (in quite what context, we don't know) for his eccentric footwear, to which he responded by taking to wearing red socks on the left and green on the right, the navy's own colours for display at port and starboard. He later claimed this had the advantage that after a particularly good party, he could at least tell in which direction he was walking by observing the colours.

Despite fronting HM Government's "Tax doesn't have to be taxing" adverts, he admits to not filling in his tax returns himself as he finds them too, errr, taxing. No wonder they dropped him, though ironically he was replaced by Moira Stuart, who of course pays no tax at all as she is domiciled on a different planet.

He is first cousin once removed of John Julius Norwich.

He appeared on the first-ever edition of Celebrity Mastermind and achieved a high score on his specialist subject, but unfortunately did less well on general knowledge and ultimately lost to Jonathan Meades. Hart-Davis returned to the programme a year later to present the trophy to the first series champion of the John Humphrys-era, Andy Page.

Web links

Adam's website

Wikipedia entry


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