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TV Pop Diaries
Pop Music on British Television 1955 - 1999

Not to be confused with a 1959 series with the same title, this was a fifty-five minute variety show made as a co-production with CBS in America.


A full sized circus ring was constructed at Rediffuson's fourteen thousand square foot studio in Wembley to accommodate a whole range of circus acts, alongside comedians and a weekly pop act with the likes of The Zombies, The Animals, Gerry & The Pacemakers, The Searchers, Dusty Springfield and The Everly Brothers appearing.


Many of America's top comedians worked on the show, with the most memorable clip featuring the then stand-up comedian Woody Allen in the ring with a boxing kangaroo. Other exotic animals were also on parade throughout the series.


Filming began on 19th April 1966 with Trini Lopez and The Dave Clark Five, with Nancy Sinatra and Paul & Barry Ryan dodging the elephant dung on 26th April. The series began broadcasting on 5th July 1966 in the USA with the UK version played two months later.


Two camera crews worked on the show simultaneously, with one colour crew working for CBS and the 405 line black and white cameras used for the local ITV network showing, leading to negative comments from British critics who were aware of the show's co-production status. The Daily Mirror review of the 3rd November 1966 show claimed "Hollywood's Tony Randall made a fine host on ITV's Hippodrome last night - though it would have been better if the producer had had him facing the viewers instead of shooting in profile."


A DVD of the circus acts was released in the USA, while colour clips of some of the pop acts occasionally surface.







HIPPODROME


Rediffusion

20th September 1966 - 29th December 1966