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.