Blockbusters is back: From 'Papa Millennial' quiz master Dara Ó Briain to playing along at home - Why to watch the reboot of the cult 80s game show

We reveal everything you need to know about the return of Blockbusters to Comedy Central, including what it’s about, when it’s on, and our top reasons to watch.

Blockbusters, the 80s student quiz show, returns with a comedy twist and a new host in Dara Ó Briain.

The cult classic was originally hosted by Bob Holness and aired on ITV between 1983 and 1993.

The 2019 reboot on Comedy Central has maintained some of the best bits from the original format (including the catchy theme tune) while bringing it into the modern era with a bang.

Here's everything you need to know about Blockbusters, including what it’s about, when it’s on, and our top three reasons to watch...

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When is Blockbusters on TV?

Blockbusters will premiere on Thursday, March 21 at 8pm on Comedy Central UK. There will be 20 episodes of 30 minutes, so the final episode should air on Thursday, August 1.

According to, there are also set to be two celebrity specials, although the line-up and air dates of these have yet to be confirmed.

What’s it about?


Each episode of Blockbusters sees students compete to win cash by answering general knowledge questions to make a chain across the iconic hexagon board. Each hexagon is assigned a letter - contestants have to answer a question beginning with that letter to 'win' the hexagon and progress. 

The winner will have the chance to take on the infamous phrase-based Gold Run and bag themselves an amazing prize.

And we’ll also find out whether two heads are better than one, as, just like in the original, each week sees a pair of students go up against a solo player.

The opening episode sees best friends Eddy and Alex take on single player Emma for a chance to win a trip to sunny Barcelona.

Who’s in it?

The 2019 reboot of Blockbusters is hosted by Irish comedian Dara Ó Briain. You will probably recognise him as the host of Mock the Week and The Apprentice: You're Fired!

He’s also a successful stand-up comic and has released a number of DVDs of his tours, including Live at the Theatre Royal and Crowd Tickler.

The three contestants change every episode, but they’re always students from up and down the country.

Three reasons to watch Blockbusters…

1. Dara Ó Briain bantering the millennials

You can’t bring a student game show into 2019 without referencing the fact that students these days are very different to those of the 1980s.

Dara Ó Briain is the perfect quiz master to light-heartedly tease the teenage contestants, poking fun at himself in the process.

He introduces the show by saying: “Who better to host the show for the cream of Gen Y than me, Papa Millennial?!”

blockbusters contestants

His banter continues throughout the first episode, but it doesn’t feel like he’s picking on the contestants at all as they're also laughing at themselves.

Faced with Eddy and Alex, two students in rather posh-looking school uniforms, above, he jokes: “Which one of you is Gryffindor?”

And (spoiler alert) “I’ll have a P please, Dara” is said at one point… One for the parents!

2. It keeps the best bits from the original

Blockbusters is the perfect reboot. It doesn’t shy away from its 80s origins - in fact it accentuates them - while bringing it into the modern day.

The theme tune is the same as the 80s original, and just as likely to get stuck in your head.

The format is also exactly the same, but it’s been given a comedy twist - making it more light-hearted than something like University Challenge.

Watch a short clip of the 1980s version of Blockbusters below, and compare for yourself:

3. The University Challenge effect

One of the best bits about watching TV quiz shows is when you get a question right - especially when you're watching with friends and family. 

Similarly, you can’t watch Blockbusters without trying to answer the questions yourself, and beating the constestants to the answer.

But the bonus of Blockbusters over something pretty challenging like University Challenge is that you can play it at home knowing you might actually get more than a few questions right!

It’s good-hearted fun, and anyone can watch it and have a go - whether it’s families sitting watching over dinner, or students tuning in before a BNO... that’s a Big Night Out for the non-Millennials!

Watch the Blockbusters trailer

Blockbusters premieres Thursday, March 21 at 8pm on Comedy Central (BT channel number 307/370 HD).

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Images: Comedy Central

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