TV Pop Diaries

Popular Music on British Television

Home Intro Articles Credits Timeline Links 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s



POP QUEST

Yorkshire
12th September 1975 - 27th December 1978

Similar to BBC1's Disco which had started a few weeks' earlier, but aimed at a weekday tea-time audience. Two teams from various ITV regions compete to see who knows the most about pop music. At the end of each show a pop celebrity would present the winners with their award.

Weekly music paper Record Mirror had advertised for contestants and one of those who replied was Brian Kotz, who would help represent eventual winners Thames, before going into a music career of his own with blues/R&B band Back To Zero.

Devised by Yorkshire producer Ian Bolt who had previously produced Play It Again Stewpot where puppets played pop stars. The first series was hosted by ex-Radio One DJ Steve Merike, while Stewart Coxhead was tasked with compiling the five-hundred or so questions used in the series. Each week a live act would appear to plug their new release.

The grand final was between Thames and Granada and the winners received stereo systems and a gold disc each. The week after the final another edition pitted the best of the contestants against celebrities.

The second series replaced the old host with Sally James and David 'Kid' Jensen. The live pop acts also disappeared. The new series contained a new feature Track Facts, a four minute piece which dealt with various aspects of the music business, like recording studios, A&R, radio, roadies etc. Due to the popularity of the feature producer Bolt would turn it into a one-off special shown at the end of the series, hosted by Sally James. This time around the contestants were not representative of their ITV region, but contested as an individual with a gold disc for the overall winner.

The third series debuted with a new set of hosts, Megg Nicol and Mike Read, while the music industry feature was replaced with a new one about the music scene called Feedback. Guests this time included Brian May, John Peel, Jack Good and Godley and Creme.

The show finished 27th December 1978 with a celebrity contest, which probably gave Mike Read the idea for BBC1's Pop Quiz a few years' later which he would host for several years.