Zig Zag: Topical Programmes

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started21st Mar 1985
ended27th Nov 1989
last rpt29th Nov 1989
6 school years
duration20 mins
subject 🏫Miscellany
age rangeAge 7-9
languageenIn English
Zig Zag title 1.jpg

Zig ZagHierarchyPrevious.gifPrevious unit: The EskimosNext unit: Gardens and GrowthHierarchyNext.gif

Topical Programmes is a unit of the BBC Schools TV series Zig Zag from the 1980s, covering various topics for primary school pupils.

For a while in the 1980s Zig Zag presented one Special programme each year, not directly related to the units being shown in the rest of the term and usually on a topical subject. For the first two years these Zig Zag Special episodes covered the Domesday Project enterprise organised by the BBC, and later took on other topics.

Episode List

# Title Broadcast
1. The Domesday Project #1985-03-21-00-00-0021 Mar 1985
2. Topical Programme (Summer 1986) #1986-06-16-00-00-0016 Jun 1986
3. Quiz Programme #1987-06-22-00-00-0022 Jun 1987
4. Australia's Bicentenary #1988-03-21-00-00-0021 Mar 1988
5. Hungarian Link-Up #1989-11-27-00-00-0027 Nov 1989

Episode Guide

1. The Domesday Project

Sheelagh introduces the BBC's Domesday Project, running to mark 900 years since the Normans prepared the original Domesday Book. She explains how hundreds of schools across the United Kingdom can prepare reports and photographs about their local areas.

First broadcast: Thursday 21st March 1985, 9:20am on BBC2 Last broadcast: Friday 29th March 1985, 9:30am on BBC2 BBC programme number: ESBG100T

2. Topical Programme (Summer 1986)

Sheelagh gives an update on the Domesday Project videodisc preparations, and Paul previews the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh.

First broadcast: Monday 16th June 1986, 11:00am on BBC2 Last broadcast: Wednesday 18th June 1986, 2:40pm on BBC2 BBC programme number: ESBJ082L

3. Quiz Programme

Paul sets questions about the 1986-87 Zig Zag programmes to children from two schools.

First broadcast: Monday 22nd June 1987, 11:00am on BBC2 Last broadcast: Wednesday 24th June 1987, 2:15pm on BBC2 BBC programme number: ESBK096J

4. Australia's Bicentenary

Children from a school in England and another in Australia work together on a project about James Hobbs, a young settler inAustralia, to mark 200 years since the first British convict ships arrived in Australia. Using computers and satellite links they can talk to each other and cooperate.

First broadcast: Monday 21st March 1988, 11:00am on BBC2 Last broadcast: Wednesday 23rd March 1988, 1:38pm on BBC2 BBC programme number: ESBK095P

5. Hungarian Link-Up

Children at a primary school in London correspond with their counterparts in Budapest and find out about daily life for children in 1980s Hungary.

First broadcast: Monday 27th November 1989, 11:00am on BBC2 Last broadcast: Wednesday 29th November 1989, 1:40pm on BBC2 BBC programme number: ESBM384S


Year Term Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Channel Details
1984-85 Spring 1985 Thursday, 9:20am Friday, 9:30am BBC2 Thu, rpt Fri in next week
1985-86 Summer 1986 Monday, 11:00am Wednesday, 2:40pm BBC2
1986-87 Summer 1987 Monday, 11:00am Wednesday, 2:15pm BBC2
1987-88 Spring 1988 Monday, 11:00am Wednesday, 1:38pm BBC2
1989-90 Autumn 1989 Monday, 11:00am Wednesday, 1:40pm BBC2


School topics covered in this programme. Click to find other programmes covering the same topics, but bear in mind topics are a new addition to the site in 2023 and not many are set up yet.

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