TV Pop Diaries

Popular Music on British Television

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COOL FOR CATS

Associated Rediffusion
31st December 1956 - 27th February 1961

Probably the first television series in Britain to be aimed specifically at the new rock n roll audience, the teenager. Produced by Joan Kemp-Welch. It was first broadcast on a Monday evening at 7:15, then moved to Thursday. Fleet Street journalist Ker Robertson presented the first few shows, but by the end of January 1957 Kent Walton from Radio Luxembourg had taken over with Robertson “Disc Arranging”. The show itself was initially only fifteen minutes long, stretching to thirty minutes later on and had very few rock n roll acts making personal appearances, relying again on visual interpretation of the lyric via dance, usually choreographed by Douggie Squires. By June 1957 its popularity had spread enough to warrant a network showing twice a week and would, on occasion, step outside the boundaries of the studio setting by turning up at, for example, Army and RAF camps. But by the late fifties new shows like Oh Boy!, Boy Meets Girls, Wham! etc regularly featured real rock acts in its line-up, so the dance show began to look more and more pale, leading to its retirement in early 1961. However, Channel Four revived the idea in the mid-eighties, putting on a tea-time dance show Hot For Dogs, which lasted just one series.