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Popular Music on British Television

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IT'S CLIFF RICHARD

BBC1
3rd January 1970 - 28th September 1974

Cliff had made several one-off shows for the BBC and ATV even a couple of series, no one had really invested the time to work Cliff into a proper Saturday night TV star, something that he was well capable of and proved to be in this popular series.

His regular guests would be dancer, actress Una Stubbs, who starred with him in Summer Holiday and Hank B Marvin, who's group The Shadows were on a sabbatical, giving him the time not only be Cliff's stright man but also to make some superb albums with Bruce Welch and John Farrar.

The first series in 1970 gave the public a chance to vote for Britain's entry for the Eurovision Song Contest in A Song For Europe, this time it was Mary Hopkin singing for Britain. The show would conform to the familiar variety show format of songs, comedy sketches, guests singers, and maybe a duet with the host. However he got something of a coup by inviting Aretha Franklin onto the show for an August Bank Holiday Monday special.

In 1971 it was Northern Ireland's Clodagh Rodgers who respresented Britain and sang all six songs in A Song For Europe. The show also introduced a few new regular guests Labi Siffre and Olivia Newton-John.

For the 1972 series American soul group The Flirtations would join the regular team and it would be The New Seekers who threw themselves in front of the Eurovision juggernaut this time around. Olvia Newton-John maintained a regular spot on the show, as did Labi Siffre.

There was no new series in 1973, leaving Cliff free to give Eurovision another go, this time singing his A Song For Europe entries in Cilla Black's weekly show.

It's It’s Cliff Richard was back for a fourth and final series in 1974, but this time the Eurovision Song Contest entries were taken away from his show. Even more baffling since the singer chosen by the BBC was his friend and show regular Olvia Newton-John. However her place would be taken by a new singing group The Nolan Sisters.

His next venture for the BBC would be a new talent show format.