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TV Pop Diaries
Pop Music on British Television 1955 - 1999

Thames Television had decided to retire the failing talent show Opportunity Knocks amid rumours of vote rigging and avoid any further potential scandal involving its host Hughie Green. Luckily for them they wouldn’t have to go far to find its replacement.

Everett hadn't been seen on television in some time, with only his the voice-over job on weekly game show Celebrity Squares in the mid-seventies to give him any kind of regular credit. His Nice Time, Kenny Everett Explosion, Ev and Top Of The Pops appearances were well behind him and his radio career in the seventies had veered franticly from the national BBC channels, to BBC local radio, to national radio again, and then to one of the commercial radio stations, Capital. Luck was on Thames’ side for once as Capital Radio was located next door on the Euston Road.

Famous for his imaginative use of audio gimmickry he also seemed to be well suited to the visual side of pop as new camera and computer trickery was just being introduced.

The show would be directed by ex-Shindig director David Mallet and together they used cameras, props and sets in a way the public hadn't really seen before, while gags were provided by Ray Cameron (McIntyre) and Barry Cryer.

Everett wouldn't just be there to link pop videos and special guests he would create characters and perform to a small audience of cameramen, floor managers and make up girls. For the first series we met Sid Snot, the baby in the pram, Mary Whitehouse, Wonder Tart and Dick Thrust. In addition, Cosgrave-Hall Productions would supply a weekly three minute cartoon version of his space hero Captain Kremmen.

Everett’s use of tame smut together with sexy dance troupe Hot Gossip rendered the show unmissable by young boys and their dads who missed Pan's People on the Pops, although they had appeared on BBC1’s David Essex show a year before. Everett was so successful that he cropped up in several editions of Bruce Forsyth's Big Night Out for London Weekend later in the year.

The second series featured in it's opening credits the Maori chant as used by Quantam Jump in their disco hit The Lone Ranger and among the new characters were Marcel Wave, Brother Lee Love, Serge Suit and Angry of Mayfair whose half businessman half bra and panties costume led to a now legendary encounter with David Bowie. As a fan of the show he would return with a specially made clip of Space Oddity '80. The second series would also see the original line-up of Hot Gossip leave. Between the second and third series Everett would become a regular on BBC's Blankety Blank, keeping his options open should the Thames TV gig go southwards.

The 1979 New Year special The Didn’t Quite Make It In Time For Christmas Show became ITV’s entry for the Montreaux Television Festival. That special would be followed by the third series in 1980, however, Thames producer Philip Jones told the Daily Mirror that the next series may be in a different format “we are planning to increase the comedy content and the show will probably go to a later time.”

Another New Year's Eve show in 1980 proceeded the new series and the promised changes were made. The Kenny Everett Video Cassette was broadcast in direct competition to Top of the Pops on a Thursday evening and died a quiet death. This time the cartoon version of Captain Kremmen was ditched in favour of a live action version featuring Everett and actress Anna Dawson playing Karla.

Despondent, Everett moved to the BBC where his Kenny Everett Television Show debuts Christmas 1981.


3rd July 1978 - 21st May 1981