Bob Holness

British Radio & TV Presenter
Quiz Gameshow Host

Bob Holness Gameshow Host


Bob Holness was a legendary British radio and television presenter known for his charismatic hosting of game shows. With his warm and engaging personality, he became an iconic figure on British television, particularly as the host of “Blockbusters” and “Take a Letter.” In this biography, we explore Bob Holness’s career and his significant roles in the world of game shows.

Early Life and Career

Born Robert Wentworth John Holness on November 12, 1928, in South Africa, Bob Holness began his career in radio as a broadcaster and musician. His passion for entertainment and communication laid the foundation for his later success as a television presenter.

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Bob Holness is best known for his role as the host of “Blockbusters,” a British quiz show that originally aired in the 1980s. The show featured a distinctive format where contestants, often teenagers, competed by answering questions that involved wordplay and trivia. The objective was to create a path across a hexagonal game board, from top to bottom, by answering correctly.

Bob Holness, Blockbusters host

One of the show’s most memorable elements was the famous catchphrase, “Can I have a ‘P,’ please, Bob?” uttered by contestants when requesting a letter on the board. Bob Holness’s warm and encouraging presence as the host made the show an enduring favorite among viewers. His rapport with the young contestants and his skill in explaining the rules contributed to its popularity.

Take a Letter

In addition to “Blockbusters,” Bob Holness hosted “Take a Letter,” another British game show. “Take a Letter” combined word puzzles with entertainment, challenging contestants to solve word-related challenges. As the host, Bob guided contestants through the various rounds and wordplay, adding his charm and wit to the proceedings.


Bob Holness’s contributions as a game show host left an indelible mark on British television. He was celebrated for his professionalism, approachability, and the unique charm he brought to each show he hosted. His enduring popularity as the host of “Blockbusters” made him an iconic figure, and his catchphrase became a cultural touchstone.


Bob Holness’s career in radio and television, particularly his hosting roles on “Blockbusters” and “Take a Letter,” showcased his talent for connecting with contestants and viewers. His warm and engaging presence made him a beloved and enduring figure in British game shows. Bob Holness’s legacy lives on in the hearts of those who enjoyed his shows and the catchphrases that became a part of television history.