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TV Pop Diaries
Pop Music on British Television 1955 - 1999

A devious teatime show in which ten kids having being set a question by the host have to run over to one of the three circles on the studio floor which they think has the right answer, or try to persuade others is the right answer, but actually isn't, in the hope that someone will follow and get the answer wrong. Everyone then gets the chance to change their mind when the host shouts "runaround...now", and they have the opportunity to jump onto another square, leaving the losers behind. The winners go through to the next round, while the losers go into a sinbin and miss the next rounds until there was only one winner left, and then it begins all over again.


Southern TV had bought the format in from America where a version had run in the early seventies. Comedian Mike Reid was given the task of hosting the show, which he did from the start until 1977, ex-Crackerjack host Leslie Crowther took over briefly in 1977 until another comedian Stan Boardman took over in 1978, with Reid returning until the end. Reid later admitted that he was rude to the kids, but the producers had to get maybe five episodes recorded in a single day, so had to show them who was boss and bring them in line. The show briefly transferred to Saturday mornings as an insert to Southern's Saturday Banana, hosted by Bill Oddie.


Pop guests were on view, but only occasionally. Slade, Liverpool Express, The Wombles, Alvin Stardust, Clifford T Ward, Jona Lewie, and a lot of post punk dregs all popped down to Southampton to appear.


Southern TV lost its franchise and its successor TVS decided not to renew the format. However, a reboot appeared in 1985. Central TV's Poparound, broadcast in 1985 and 1986 was hosted by Gary Crowley. The same rules pretty much carried across to the re-boot, but this time most of the questions were about pop.


Sadly, nothing of the show exists before 1978, with surviving editions shown by the wonderful Talking Pictures TV in 2020/1.



RUNAROUND


Southern

2nd September 1975 - 7th September 1981