TV Pop Diaries

Popular Music on British Television

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COUNTDOWN

Southern
14th June 1966 - 23rd December 1966

From TV Times “A chartbusting panel show in which top popsters compete to test their knowledge of the current disc scene and sing for their supper”.

A quiz show, following on from Southern’s Pop The Question, where pop stars were asked questions about current chart hits and would in turn promote their own. But who gets to perform and when is determined by the current state of play and the outcome of a draw made by fellow celebrities in the audience.

This was one of a series of pop shows to be devised and directed by Mike Mansfield for Southern, later to work on Time For Blackburn!, Supersonic,  continuing to work up till the mid nineties on the independent production Cue The Music.

Presentation chores were in safe hands, Muriel Young and Don Wardell, with Young only recently vacating her job at The Five O’Clock Club on Rediffusion.

A pilot show was due to shown locally in mid May, running in at forty minutes. A second pilot was shown in June 1966 with Southern's controller of programmes' Berkeley Smith claiming "We've already experimented with Coundtown in a forty minute format and the response was very encouraging. Now, with one eye on the autumn schedule, we are trying it out again in a thirty minute slot".

The show returned for the first of the proper series on 1st October on Saturday afternoons, but the show was relegated by Southern to late Friday night several weeks later.

Despite playing on various ITV channels on different days it lasted just one series.