TV Pop Diaries

Popular Music on British Television

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CRACKERJACK

BBC / BBC1
12th September 1955 to 21st December 1984

A feast of corny comedy featuring resident comic butt-end Peter Glaze, aided (throughout the sixties) by Pip Hinton and Jillian Comber. It’s masters of ceremonies included Eamonn Andrews, Leslie Crowther, Michael Aspel, Ed Stewart and Stu Francis. It never attracted huge pop names like The Beatles, but it was usually worth the watch. Few shows conjure up so much audience anticipation as “it’s Friday, it’s five to five, it’s Crackerjack!” Then the audience, usually made up of boy scouts and girl guides, then responds the only way it could, by shouting “Crackerjack” back at the MC. To test the show’s respect and celebrity, feel free to do the following, stand on a crowded street anywhere in the world and shout “Crackerjack” and wait for the response, that’s the way to spot a Brit abroad. The final series had the theme performed by Chas and Dave. Does anyone still have a Crackerjack pencil, they looked quite big.