Dara Ó Briain: School of Hard Sums

Dara Ó Briain: School of Hard Sums
Genre Comedy
Written by Sarah Morgan
Ged Parsons
George Sawyer
Colin Swash
Directed by Mike Bradley
Samuel Wilkinson
Richard Valentine
Presented by Dara Ó Briain
Starring Marcus du Sautoy
Theme music composer Marc Sylvan
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 24 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Richard Watsham
Katherine Parsons
Phil Morrow
Producer(s) Mike Bradley
Samuel Wilkinson
Helen Younger
Location(s) BBC Television Centre, London
Editor(s) Simon Hornbrook
Malcolm Finch
Running time Series 1: 30 minutes
Series 2: 36 minutes
Series 3: 45 minutes
Production company(s) Fujisankei Productions
Wild Rover Productions
Distributor UK Gold Services Ltd.
Original network Dave
Picture format 16:9 (1080i HDTV)
Original release 16 April 2012 (2012-04-16) – 22 April 2014 (2014-04-22)
External links
Official website

Dara Ó Briain: School of Hard Sums is a British comedy game show about the subject of mathematics and it is based on the Japanese show Comaneci University Mathematics.[1] The programme is broadcast on Dave and is presented by Dara Ó Briain and stars Marcus du Sautoy. Each episode is themed and Ó Briain, along with a guest or guests, attempts to solve various conundrums set by du Sautoy.[1] At the end of each episode, Ó Briain sets homework questions for viewers; the answers can be checked on the show's website.[2]


Series Start date End date Episodes
1 16 April 2012 4 June 2012 8
2 1 May 2013 19 June 2013 8
3 4 March 2014 22 April 2014 8


A pilot episode was produced with the title Dara O'Briain's University of Practical Mathematics, but this was never broadcast.

The coloured backgrounds denote the result of each of the shows:

 Brains   Dara O'Briain ("Brains") won
 Brawn   Guests ("Brawn") won
 Students   Maths students won (Series 1 and 3 only. In Series 2, the maths students were on the Brains team.)
 Draw   Draw

Series 1

# Theme Guests Result Original air date
1The Mathematics of PositioningDavid O'DohertyBrains16 April 2012 (2012-04-16)
2Location Location MathsAlex HorneBrawn23 April 2012 (2012-04-23)
3How Maths Can Stop You Getting ScrewedJason ByrneStudents30 April 2012 (2012-04-30)
4You Can't Argue With LogicAndi OshoBrawn7 May 2012 (2012-05-07)
5The Maths of Italian RestaurantsDavid O'DohertyStudents14 May 2012 (2012-05-14)
6How Maths Saves LivesAlex HorneBrawn21 May 2012 (2012-05-21)
7Finding Your Way with MathsSimon EvansBrains28 May 2012 (2012-05-28)
8The Maths of SportAndi OshoBrains4 June 2012 (2012-06-04)

Series 2

# Theme Guests Result Original air date
1Does Crime Add Up?Andrew Maxwell
Mark Watson
Brains1 May 2013 (2013-05-01)
2How Maths Gets You More Bang for Your BuckMarcus Brigstocke
Josh Widdicombe
Brawn8 May 2013 (2013-05-08)
3How Maths Can Keep the PeaceSusan Calman
David O'Doherty
Draw15 May 2013 (2013-05-15)
4How Maths Can Help You Find What You're Looking ForMiles Jupp
Stephen Mangan
Brawn22 May 2013 (2013-05-22)
5How Maths Can Get You StuffedMarcus Brigstocke
Andrew Maxwell
Brains29 May 2013 (2013-05-29)
6Maths of the End of the WorldJosie Long
Alex Horne
Brawn5 June 2013 (2013-06-05)
7How Maths Can Feel the ForceSusan Calman
Richard Herring
Draw12 June 2013 (2013-06-12)
8How Maths Can Take You All the WayAlex Horne
Tim Key
Draw19 June 2013 (2013-06-19)

Series 3

# Theme Guests Result Original air date
1Maths and Two Veg: How Maths Can Help You Eat BetterKevin Bridges
Peter Serafinowicz
Brains4 March 2014 (2014-03-04)
2Yo Ho Ho and A Bottle of Sums: Maths For PiratesLee Mack
Miles Jupp
Brawn11 March 2014 (2014-03-11)
3The Maths of Making and Breaking: Breaking AddJon Richardson
Sally Phillips
Brawn18 March 2014 (2014-03-18)
4Downton Abacus: The Maths of WealthMark Watson
Marcus Brigstocke
Brains25 March 2014 (2014-03-25)
5Alfresco Arithmetic: The Maths of the Great OutdoorsJosh Widdicombe
Peter Serafinowicz
Brawn1 April 2014 (2014-04-01)
6The Maths of Balls: Lets Get SphericalSusan Calman
Andrew Maxwell
Brawn8 April 2014 (2014-04-08)
7The Prime of Your Life: The Maths of Old AgeJon Richardson
Stephen K Amos
Draw15 April 2014 (2014-04-15)
8Maths of Sport: Maths of the DayKevin Bridges
Sally Phillips
Students22 April 2014 (2014-04-22)


Readers of UKGameshows.com named it on a two way tie, the seventh best new game show of 2012 in their "Hall of fame" poll.[3]


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