From TV Times “Ayshea, hostess of the popular Discotheque show, and Graham Bonney
are the resident hosts in this new swingalong series. Each week Lift Off features
favourite recording artists and newcomers to the disc scene. Graham Bonney sings
top pops and a request number and the backing is the super sound of the resident
group, The Pattern. And adding their own exciting interpretations of the numbers
are resident guests The Ken Martyne Dancers.” Ayshea had been recording since the
Hosted by actress/singer Ayshea Brough and ‘Wondergirl’ hit-
One of the groups that impressed Young in the auditions were The Pattern who were signed to be the show's resident group.
As Producer Muriel Young explained to the Daily Mirror at the beginning of the second
series, “There are a lot of fine young musicians and singers who could hit the top
if only they knew how to go about it. We hope to give them the opportunity.” Talking
to TV Times in 1976 Young talked of its targeted audience "I suggested giving them
a television discotheque, Lift Off grew out of that idea and it proved my point that
that TV pop wasn't dead -
Talking about the host to TV Times in 1973 Muriel Young said "I was looking for a girl the boys would like and the girls wouldn't be jealous of."
By the second series Ayshea had the hosting duties to herself, and the live audience
has now gone, but she now had company in the shape of ex-
At the start of the third series in 1971 Muriel Young asked the viewers what they’d like to see and after wading through 4000 letters the answer came back “mostly oldies. Pop singers like Elvis Presley, Andy Williams, and old film favourites such as Summer Holiday and The Sound of Music.” These requests would be granted with musical number clips from popular movies.
By the beginning of the new series in April 1972 the title had changed to Lift Off With Ayshea, recognising her popularity. Talking about the show she claimed “We had lots of fun. I presented a part of the show at a desk with the puppets Ollie Beak and Fred Barker and the crew would tie my shoelaces together or undo my dress zip and I’d then have to sing live.”
Notable shows included 30th December 1970 when Sweet promoted ‘Funny Funny’ kicking off the pop end of the glam era, while 21st June 1972 David Bowie introduced ‘Starman’ to the world, a few weeks ahead of the more famous Top Of The Pops clip. Ayshea's beau at the time Roy Wood made several appearances one the show, even making a single for Harvest together. The show also gave time to the first incarnation of Alvin Stardust, Peter Shelley, who vowed never to do it again and employing former rocker Shane Fenton to take over. Marc Bolan appeared on the show in December 1973 claiming “I did this show because I like Fred Barker.”
The show featured pretty much all the great glam acts of the era, but sadly only
three shows are thought to exist, alongside a few isolated clips. Talking to the
Sunday Express in December 2016 about the archive wiping she said “I couldn’t believe
it when I found out. Apparently Granada TV was transferring them to digital and instead
of getting rid of the three tapes that were repeats, they ditched the 141 originals.
It’s heartbreaking.” It transpires that three tapes were all that existed anyway,
however it's likely that some privately recorded off-