MOST of us will be familiar with the ‘Test Card Girl’ – the little girl who appeared on our screens when there was no programming on-air.

The little girl, along with her equally famous toy clown, was Carole Hersee – who was eight-years old when she had the photo taken in 1967.

Needless to say Carole is all grown-up these days.

Carole, now 63, accrued over a whopping 70,000 hours of airplay between the years of 1967 and 1998.

The test card was used to test colour signals and grey-scales – if the border lines ever blurred it meant that the focus on your set needed adjusting.

Carole became the most aired face in British television history after her dad, who was a BBC engineer, brought her to a shoot.

“It’s staggering, when we did it, nobody thought it would last for more than a few years”, Carole told The Telegraph in 2009.

Apparently, the BBC execs wanted a child for the picture so that if skin-tones appeared different on screen they would know it wasn’t down to make-up.

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These days, Carole works as a theatrical costume designer and has worked on West End productions as well as films including Flash Gordon and Dangerous Liaisons.

Carole gave a radio interview in 2011 explaining how she came to be known as the infamous Test Card Girl.

She recalled: "My father was helping to design the colour test card and took some photographs at home of my sister and I to give them some ideas of how they could use it,

"And the committee decided in the end that they would use a child in order to get facial colours for the television. And they decided to use me!"

Talking about the shoot, she added: "I think I got irritable, apparently. Because every time they wanted to take another photograph, I was eating a biscuit or something!"

Carole’s younger sister Gillian also attended the shoot, but wasn’t used for the final shot as she’d recently lost two of her front teeth.

Carole was paid £100 for her picture, and she still owns the famous clown, called Bubbles, that was posed with her in the shoot.


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