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TV Pop Diaries
Pop Music on British Television 1955 - 1999

In the late seventies Jack Good's transatlantic travels brought him back to the UK to revive his most famous creation. Twenty years' on from the final original Oh Boy it was back, this time in colour and for ATV, ABC's rival during the original run.

A successful run of stage shows, Catch My Soul, Good Rockin' Tonight and Elvis kept his name and legend alive and it was just a matter of time before someone enticed him back to TV.

Taking the place of Lingalongamax in the Monday evening schedules from 7.00 - 7.30 pm the show was given pride of place on the front cover of the TV Times for the first new edition in twenty years, with the accompanying article claiming "TV's greatest ever rock show is back." Talking about his involvement in the new show Joe Brown said "I've avoided rock 'n' roll revivals but when I heard Jack Good was producing a new show, I knew it would be right."

There would be regular appearances from Joe Brown, Les Gray, Alvin Stardust, Freddie ‘Fingers’ Lee, Johnny Storm and Shakin’ Stevens, with Lulu, Fumble and 6.5 Special legend Don Lang making occasional appearances. The host was Billy 'GBH' Hartman, who would sometimes introduce the acts on camera, while the resident back-up band were The Oh Boy! Boogie Band, a team of players specially assembled for the show, making sure there would be no resentful jazzers this time around. Keith Strachan was the musical director and likewise, there would be no Harry Robinson this time, despite the fact that has still working. Staging, similar to the classic show, was by Carole Todd. The backing singers were The On Boy Cats and Kittens. The Cats were Paul Tobler, Shaun Harris, James Graeme and Colin Copperfield, and the Kittens were Dee Anderson (daughter of Gerry and Sylvia), Mary Dunne, Carole Forbes, Jean Jennie, Vael O'Dweyer, Sharron Shelton, Fiona Hendley and Helen Webb.

Although it was his show, he even had his name above the title, Good did not actually produce the show, instead getting a "created by" credit in the first series only. Production would be down to ATV's Richard Leyland who produced and directed the first editions with Ken O'Dell joining after a few shows. There was a surprise credit at the end of each episode for actor, and later charity campaigner, Brian Rix who had worked with Good at the Astoria Theatre in London, but that too was removed for the second series.

Asked by the TV Times whether he had felt nostalgic about returning he exclaimed "It's no more nostalgic than Verdi's Requiem. It's classic material - not so much 'Do you remember' as 'How can you forget'." The show didn't so much recreate 1959 on screen, but bring rock n roll up to date.

Good had previously made stars of Cliff Richard, Adam Faith, Joe Brown and P J Proby, and was hoping to make a star of Johnny Storm, a then seventeen year old, sitting his GCSE's at school, and Tim Whitnall who had played the young Elvis in Good's West End production, but it was Shakin' Stevens who would have the star on his dressing room door, notching up dozens of hits throughout the eighties, even getting to plug the first of them, Hot Dog, in the second series.

The show had invited modern day Teddy Boys and rockers to be in the audience, who would grease back their hair on cue.

Like the original show, an album featuring songs from the first series was released, this time by Pye Records. Pye would also issue tie-in singles by Johnny Storm and The Rockin' Shades but to no avail.

Since the last show of the first series was early August 1979 it didn't fall victim to ACTT industrial action which saw ITV off the air for three months, however a repeat of one show played on the day after transmissions resumed in October 1979.

ATV rewarded the show's success with a Christmas day special featuring new signing, Stiff Records' starlet Rachel Sweet. The show got a second series, unlike the original, but this time it was given a Saturday tea-time showing, starting 5th January 1980, the first pop show to do so since Supersonic. But gone was Jack Good, whose 'created by..' credit was removed, however he still got his name above the title, despite the show only being simply titled "Oh Boy!" in the TV Times. The stars were pretty much the same as the first series, but Johnny Storm and Joe Brown were not regulars anymore, while Tim Whitnall, Rachel Sweet and John Christie were now making regular appearances. Paul Smith now joined the production / direction team.

By the final few shows it was obvious that the "new to TV" faces and voices weren't attracting the expected audience and, despite a promise from host Hartman that they would be back, in true Jack Good fashion they weren't. But what Good did do is what he usually did and merely re-booted the show with a new name, Let's Rock, debuting in 1980 in the USA first and the following year in the UK.



2nd July 1979 - 9th February 1980