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TV Pop Diaries
Pop Music on British Television 1955 - 1999

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

Weekly music paper Record Mirror advertised for contestants in April 1975 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 pilot show, shot in January 1975 featured two members of Pilot on one of the teams.

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 pop personality would appear to be questioned by the contestants about their career.

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

Talking to TV Times in 1976 producer Bolt was glad that the show was not a promotional tool for the industry. "When pop gets on television it changes form, the visual impact becomes more important than the sound. It has to be, because so few television sets have sound systems adequate for modern sounds. Nevertheless, I can't deny that pop on television can often help sell a lot of records."

The second series replaced the host with Sally James and David 'Kid' Jensen. The pop acts also disappeared, however it would contain a new feature, Track Facts, a four minute piece which dealt with 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 individuals 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 & 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.



12th September 1975 - th April 1978, plus special 27th December 1978