Stu Francis

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For the Canadian comedian, see Stewart Francis.

Stuart G. G. 'Stu' Francis (born 30 January 1951, Bolton, Lancashire, England) is a British comedian with a camp style of delivery who achieved celebrity as lead presenter on the children's television programme Crackerjack (1979–1984). His principal "co host" was Basil Brush. He went on to host Ultra Quiz in 1985 and Border TV's Crush a Grape in 1987, a children's game show in a similar vein to his era of Crackerjack. He also released a single in 1985 called "Ooh! I could crush a grape".[1]

After attending Brownlow Fold Junior School and Smithills Base School, both in Bolton, he worked as a bluecoat entertaining guests at holiday camps. He then switched to comedy and appeared in summer seasons at clubs and in theatres.


Francis had numerous catchphrases on Crackerjack, mostly based on his prolific Ooh! I could crush a grape!!. Other variations included: I could pop a balloon, I could rip a tissue, I could jump off a doll's house, I could wrestle an action man, I could duff a daffodil and I could test drive a Tonka, I could pummel a peach, I could eat a whole sausage roll.

Another catchphrase was There's points to be won, and there are penalties to pay! used on Crackerjack's final game Take A Chance, where the "penalty" was a gunging to an unfortunate celebrity, or to Francis himself.


Television appearances include:


  1. ^ Parsons, Tony (1985) "Singles", NME, 2 February 1985, p. 14

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