Dara Ó Briain: School of Hard Sums

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Dara Ó Briain: School of Hard Sums
School of Hard Sums.png
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 uktv.co.uk/dave/series/tvseries/257755

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[edit]

# Theme Guests Result Original air date
1 The Mathematics of Positioning David O'Doherty Brains 16 April 2012 (2012-04-16)
2 Location Location Maths Alex Horne Brawn 23 April 2012 (2012-04-23)
3 How Maths Can Stop You Getting Screwed Jason Byrne Students 30 April 2012 (2012-04-30)
4 You Can't Argue With Logic Andi Osho Brawn 7 May 2012 (2012-05-07)
5 The Maths of Italian Restaurants David O'Doherty Students 14 May 2012 (2012-05-14)
6 How Maths Saves Lives Alex Horne Brawn 21 May 2012 (2012-05-21)
7 Finding Your Way with Maths Simon Evans Brains 28 May 2012 (2012-05-28)
8 The Maths of Sport Andi Osho Brains 4 June 2012 (2012-06-04)

Series 2[edit]

# Theme Guests Result Original air date
1 Does Crime Add Up? Andrew Maxwell
Mark Watson
Brains 1 May 2013 (2013-05-01)
2 How Maths Gets You More Bang for Your Buck Marcus Brigstocke
Josh Widdicombe
Brawn 8 May 2013 (2013-05-08)
3 How Maths Can Keep the Peace Susan Calman
David O'Doherty
Draw 15 May 2013 (2013-05-15)
4 How Maths Can Help You Find What You're Looking For Miles Jupp
Stephen Mangan
Brawn 22 May 2013 (2013-05-22)
5 How Maths Can Get You Stuffed Marcus Brigstocke
Andrew Maxwell
Brains 29 May 2013 (2013-05-29)
6 Maths of the End of the World Josie Long
Alex Horne
Brawn 5 June 2013 (2013-06-05)
7 How Maths Can Feel the Force Susan Calman
Richard Herring
Draw 12 June 2013 (2013-06-12)
8 How Maths Can Take You All the Way Alex Horne
Tim Key
Draw 19 June 2013 (2013-06-19)

Series 3[edit]

# Theme Guests Result Original air date
1 Maths and Two Veg: How Maths Can Help You Eat Better Kevin Bridges
Peter Serafinowicz
Brains 4 March 2014 (2014-03-04)
2 Yo Ho Ho and A Bottle of Sums: Maths For Pirates Lee Mack
Miles Jupp
Brawn 11 March 2014 (2014-03-11)
3 The Maths of Making and Breaking: Breaking Add Jon Richardson
Sally Phillips
Brawn 18 March 2014 (2014-03-18)
4 Downton Abacus: The Maths of Wealth Mark Watson
Marcus Brigstocke
Brains 25 March 2014 (2014-03-25)
5 Alfresco Arithmetic: The Maths of the Great Outdoors Josh Widdicombe
Peter Serafinowicz
Brawn 1 April 2014 (2014-04-01)
6 The Maths of Balls: Lets Get Spherical Susan Calman
Andrew Maxwell
Brawn 8 April 2014 (2014-04-08)
7 The Prime of Your Life: The Maths of Old Age Jon Richardson
Stephen K Amos
Draw 15 April 2014 (2014-04-15)
8 Maths of Sport: Maths of the Day Kevin Bridges
Sally Phillips
Students 22 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]


  1. ^ a b "Dara O Briain: School of Hard Sums". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "Dara O Briain's Homework Puzzles". Official Website. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  3. ^ Poll of the Year 2012 - UKGameshows

External links[edit]