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TV Pop Diaries
Pop Music on British Television 1955 - 1999

Paul Nicholas' pop career began in the early-sixties, first playing in Screaming Lord Sutch's band and then later in 1967 recording Pete Townshend and David Bowie songs for Robert Stigwood's Reaction label, using his real middle name Oscar. He went back to Stigwood in the mid seventies for his international hits "Reggae Like It Used To Be", "Dancing With The Captain" and "Grandma's Party" and an appearance in Stigwood's movie of The Who's Tommy.

He returned to the movies in 1977 popping up in Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, but he had already agreed to star in his own TV series for Granada the same year. He told TV Times in May 1978 "I was due to do it last year. I thought Muriel Young, the producer, had forgotten all about me so I'm really pleased the series is going ahead." TV Times promised "It is a new venture which will enable him not only to display his own talents but also watch for the good groups thrown up by the punk explosion", which kind of made it sound like a cross between Shag-A-Lang and So It Goes. To be fair the show didn't really have anyone you would recognise as hard core punk, but it did give space for power-pop legends The Pleasers who would go on to have their own half-hour Granada special, and an appearance by Marianne Faithful, shortly before re-inventing herself as a modern day cabaret chanteuse.

Following the format of former Granada hits like Lift Off, the host would sing, introduce in-studio guests, Teri Scoble's dancers would trot around to a new hit, promo clips were played, while hit songs from popular films would be shown. The show's theme On The Strip was released as a single, but failed to chart.

Like so many of the Granada tea-time pop shows this one only lasted the one series.

With his hit-making days behind him Nicholas went on to become of the UK's best loved actors, starring alongside Jan Francis in rom-com classic Just Good Friends in the 1980s. His acting career continues successfully to this day, alongside his other day-job as a theatrical producer.



9th May 1978 - 20th June 1978