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TV Pop Diaries
Pop Music on British Television 1955 - 1999

Liverpool poet Roger McGough, singer Mike McCartney (McGear) and writer/actor John Gorman had made their TV debut on ABC's late night magazine show Gazette in 1964, subsequently making themselves useful to Light Entertainment producers with their cheeky, witty, literate take on modern culture, and after several pop hits they were finally offered their own series.

A tea-time slot was probably the best they could have hoped for as kids loved them. They played clowns, but they were really storytellers, in poetry, songs and acting. They invited guests who would talk to the kids about the things that mattered to them, like Spike Milligan talking about his concerns about the environment. Other familiar faces like Fanny and Johnny Craddock, Willie Rushton and Moira Lister would turn up, while fellow Scousers The Fourmost were the backing band. Recent Doctor Who sidekick Wendy Padbury was also in support.

Described by the Radio Times as "a zany zig-zag of puzzles and quizzes, a fun magazine programme with an emphasis on involving viewers at home", the show also featured a weekly whodunit cartoon insert Inspector Boniface Investigates, something that Ed and Zed would also inflict on its audience. There was also a tie-in with the Radio Times who would set a poser each week.

The show changed format for the second series which began 6th August 1971, becoming a contest between two teams of children. Talking to The Stage about the new series producer Stan Parkinson said "Children are entitled to a show like this. They're innocent adults - we don't fall into the trap of talking down to them."

While they were waiting for their second series to appear they had been hired to provide scripts and songs for Decimal Five, a series of quick instructional films informing the UK public that the old imperial system of currency (pounds, shillings and pence) was on its way out in February 1971 to be replaced by the new decimal system of pounds and pence. They also appeared in a late night series Stress for BBC1 in summer 1971. The show featured a young couple Gary and Kim and how they faced the stresses of everyday life. Scaffold again providing the songs.

The show was seemed like a trial run for John Gorman who would be back on children's television in the late seventies with Tiswas.



3rd July 1970 - 10th September 1971