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Pop Music on British Television 1955 - 1999

Former boxer Andrews already had a successful showbiz career hosting popular TV shows for the BBC like What's My Line and kids' favourite Crackerjack alongside boxing commentary for radio and television. Although he had a perfect broadcasting voice and was very popular with the public it wasn't until 1964 and a move to ABC Television that he was finally given his own show.


The late night Sunday chat show would attract a stellar list of celebrities, such was the respect Andrews attracted across all fields of sport and entertainment. The show was transmitted live twenty-six weeks a year from Teddington or Manchester with each guest staying on the sofa after their interview was over so that they could contribute if need be, rather than disappearing as soon as their spot was over, while Andrews himself would only do the necessary homework on each personality and never met them backstage beforehand. He would also try to find members of the studio audience to include in the show. Talking to TV Times he explained "... I want to cut back a bit on the showbiz personalities and include more people from everyday life. I asked what qualifications people needed for the show. They must be good conversationalists and have that extra spark," said Eamonn. "Before the show I go down among the audience. If I find the kind of person I'm looking for, I invite them up."


Always wanting to improve, or change if necessary, the previous week's show would be watched and analysed on Tuesday morning, with the afternoon set aside for discussing guests for the next show. The next three days saw Tom Brennand, the show's editor meet with future guests and discuss what they would like to talk about. Talking to the Daily Mirror in late 1965 he explained "It helps if guests know who they will be appearing with, and what kind of thing they are likely to be asked. But there is no set script, When they turn up on Sunday night, it is a completely ad-lib show."


The ITA threatened to intervene in the show just a few weeks after it had started as "robust" comments made by Diana Dors and Jimmy Edwards on one show were deemed a little too near the knuckle, even for a late night show.


Most of the musical guests were solo singers, but The Beatles made a live appearance on the 11th April 1965 performing both sides of their new 45, plus a chat with Eamonn, while the Stones pitched up in February 1967. The fact that the top pay rate was only £200 per act, whereas The London Palladium Show paid £1000 for a top act suggests that people weren't doing Andrews' show for the money. Or even the exposure, as the show began post 11 pm on a Sunday night when most people went to bed early, fearing missing the alarm clock on Monday morning.


After ABC's weekend ITV franchise morphed into weekdays Thames Television Eamonn followed them hosting This Is Your Life and the early evening news show Today, which several years later would welcome in The Sex Pistols. Luckily, Eamonn was not on duty that night. Lucky for The Sex Pistols, that is.



THE EAMONN ANDREWS SHOW


ABC

4th October 1964 - 2nd June 1968