Maths Counts

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started20th Sep 1983
ended20th Mar 1984
last rpt2nd Dec 1986
4 school years
duration20 mins
age rangeAge 14-16Age 13-16
languageenIn English

Maths Counts is a BBC schools TV series from the 1980s, covering Mathematics for secondary school pupils.

{{Leader|A maths-based sitcom about 18 year-old twins Wendy and Steve, suddenly needing to look out for themselves when their mum is called away. Looking after themselves involves looking for jobs, and working out the many ways that maths is used in their everyday lives.

Wendy and Steve's exploits often involve their uncle Burt who runs a building firm and their friend Dave, with Steve and Dave going to work for Burt.

Burt Drummond and Steve Austin discuss measurements

The series was intended for pupils who weren't planning to take, or at least not do very well in, the maths CSE exams, and restricted itself to practical maths relevant to real life such as working out money and change, and interpreting graphs. It ran fortnightly during the autumn and spring terms, with the summer term taken up by the more serious documentary series Maths at Work, which was meant for examination pupils and covered many of the same kind of topics.

Maths Counts replaced the earlier series Everyday Maths, which was also a sitcom about characters learning to apply maths in the real world after temporarily losing the mother figure who would normally sort such things out for them. The two series shared the same writer and producer and many plot similarities, such as salesmen using misleading statistics and a plot about reading railway timetables which turns on noticing that some journeys run "Saturdays excepted". All of this was deliberate as Maths Counts was developed as a replacement based on teacher's feedback from Everyday Maths.


# Title Broadcast
1. Getting the Point #1983-09-20-00-00-0020 Sep 1983
2. Round About #1983-10-04-00-00-004 Oct 1983
3. Orders is Orders #1983-10-18-00-00-0018 Oct 1983
4. A Table in Time #1983-11-08-00-00-008 Nov 1983
5. Give a Third, Take a Quarter #1983-11-22-00-00-0022 Nov 1983
6. Bearing the Percentage #1984-01-17-00-00-0017 Jan 1984
7. Drawing the Line #1984-01-31-00-00-0031 Jan 1984
8. How to Find Venus #1984-02-14-00-00-0014 Feb 1984
9. According to Plan #1984-03-06-00-00-006 Mar 1984
10. What Price to Pay? #1984-03-20-00-00-0020 Mar 1984


  • 1983-84 (Autumn and Spring) - fortnightly Tuesdays 9:26am, repeated the following week Wednesdays 10:15am, on BBC2
  • 1984-85 (Autumn and Spring) - fortnightly Tuesdays 9:26am, repeated the following week Wednesdays 10:15am, on BBC2
  • 1985-86 (Autumn and Spring) - fortnightly Thursdays 9:36am, repeated the following week Wednesdays 10:15am, on BBC2
  • 1986-87 (Autumn term only) - weekly Tuesdays 12:18pm, on BBC2


Starring Roy Kinnear as Bert Drummond

Nick Orchard as Steve Austin
Sarah James as Wendy Austin
Leo Wringer as Dave Harper

With Elizabeth Proud as Elsie Austin (episodes 1 & 10)

Paul Anil as Mr Gupta (episode 2)
Christine Edmonds as cashier (episode 2)
Eileen Dunwoodie as Sandra Livesey (episode 3)
Paul Rowland as Mr Willoughby (episode 3)
Jim Dunk as delivery man (episode 3)
Sarah Cahn as Pauline Macfarlane (episode 4)
Nicholas McArdle as Hamish Macfarlane (episode 4)
Leonard Lowe as Walter Kirby (episode 5)
Bernadette Milnes as Lucy Kirby (episode 5)
John Dair as Billy (episode 5)
Rita Davies (episode 6)
Cyril Cross (episode 6)
Pam St Clement as Mrs Rowse (episode 7)
William Wilde as Henry Blossom (episode 7)
Robin Meredith as Mr Morgan (episode 8)
Daphne Oxenford (episode 9)
James Taylor (episode 9)
Alfie Curtis (episode 9)
Derek Royle as Mr Sharp (episode 10)

Consultant Mary Harris
Set designer Gwen Evans
Film cameraman Ian Punter
Film editor Susan Imrie
Computer programmer Derek Longhurst (episode 3)
Writer John Tully
Director David Roseveare (episodes 1-5)
Derek Longhurst (episodes 6-10)
Producer David Roseveare


Teacher's notes

A booklet of teacher's notes was published for each term, costing (in 1984-85) 90p per term.

The notes were fully designed on the inside to look like a notebook, and include 3-4 worksheets per episode to be duplicated for pupils. The worksheets were written by the series consultant Mary Harris.

A book called Maths Counts was published in 1983 to accompany the series, also written by the consultant Mary Harris. Buy from Amazon



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