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THE BEAT ROOM

BBC2
6th July 1964 - 25th January 1965

A weekly series produced by Juke Box Jury's Barry Langford which was an attempt to get both top forty acts and new comers playing live in the studio. According to the BBC "Twenty-five minutes of non-stop beat and shake", later changed to "thirty minutes..."

The newly created BBC2 had been given the opportunity to attract a younger audience, and they came up with this Ready, Steady Go! clone. The studio itself looked like a copy of the Ready Steady Go! set-up with camera in view with lots of room for dancing. There was no host on-camera, but the voice of Pat Campbell was heard introducing the acts.

Everyone performed at least two songs live, but among those acts were Davie Jones and The King Bees aka David Bowie, making his TV debut, The Kinks, The Beach Boys and pretty much all the best British R&B acts at the time making this a proper rival for Ready Steady Go!

The first resident group were Wayne Gibson and the Dynamic Sounds, later replaced by Peter and the Headliners in October. A new talent spot The Beat Room Audition Slot was also a regular. The dance troupe was the Beat Girls lead by Jo Cook, and featuring Babs who would both later appear in The Go-Jos and Pan’s People.

In October 1964 producer Langford flew to America in order to secure bookings for artists like James Brown, Charlie Rich, Faron Young and Clyde McPhatter among others. Talking to Disc at the time he said "I want to feature at least one American star each week or fortnight".

As BBC2's transmission range extended across the country throughout 1964 the viewing figures predictably increased, but not enough to ensure its survival, and after seven months it was replaced with the Gadzooks!, also produced by Barry Langford.

Only one complete show is known to exist.