Home Shows A to Z





Diary 1950s to 1990s Articles Credits & Links

TV Pop Diaries
Pop Music on British Television 1955 - 1999

Produced by Chris Mercer, and hosted by Cool For Cats' Kent Walton Discs-A-Gogo seems to have been one of the great lost pop TV shows of the sixties.


It was first broadcast from TWW's Cardiff studios, but then moved to Bristol, probably in an attempt to attract any artists willing to take the train from Paddington. The studio was made to look like a coffee bar 'Gogos, the gayest coffee bar in town' where acts would come to play, while the presenters including Tony Prince and one of Britain's first black presenters Cynthia Pettigrew. The show's coffee bar was run by Frank Harding and Connie Greegrove, who played a stereotypical dumb blonde, literally saying nothing.


If the artist wouldn't / couldn't appear their song would be visually represented by a series of cartoon stills featuring the show's mascot Foxy the Fox / GoGo drawn by Punch cartoonist Harry Hargreaves, while puppetry was supplied by Frank Mumford. Another ex Cool For Cats presenter Ker Robertson was the script writer and 'disc arranger', while Starfire by The John Barry Seven & Orchestra was used as the show's theme.


Anglia TV in the east of England took the show from 12th March 1962, but it never became the fully networked show that it deserved to be. With another ITV station showing interest TWW took the opportunity to move the show from Thursday to Monday, Coronation Street night, in the hope of persuading others to take it. By 1963 it would also be shown by Westward and the short-lived WWN/Teledu Cymru.


By Spring 1962 TWW had issued nearly 100,000 promotional Gogo badges and by October 1962 the show had been in the local TAM ratings top ten twenty-one times.


The music appeared to come from a the bar's juke box, while every week a smoochy song would be played while the camera showed close-ups of embarrassed gooey couples. The regular dance troupe were The Go-Jos who at that time had a male dancer while a later, all-female version of the troupe would appear on Top Of The Pops.


An accompanying EP promoting the show was released by Decca in 1963 and according to the liner notes written by the show's producer the show had up to nine million viewers by that time. Frank Harding left the show at the beginning of 1965 to return to cabaret.


In September 1965 The Stage announced that programme controller Bryan Michie was seeking a new format for the show, to express a wider range of teenage interest. However, Disc magazine in late 1965 and Melody Maker in January 1966 were still listing forthcoming appearances on the show up until late February 1966, including The Animals, but in time the show would be replaced by Now!!!


The show leaned towards beat / rhythm and blues and attracted many of Britain's great bands of the time which makes it even more galling that no shows from this era exist, with only the final tribute show from 1968 still extant.



DISCS-A-GOGO


TWW

14th September 1961 - 15th December 1965, plus a one-off 2nd March 1968