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TV Pop Diaries
Pop Music on British Television 1955 - 1999

The ITV franchise for the south-west began broadcasting in April 1961 and its programme schedulers decided to jump on the pop bandwagon with Spin Along, hosted by Radio Luxembourg and the BBC Light programme's Alan Freeman.


Initially given a tea-time place in the Tuesday evening schedules it was later moved to Thursday's at 7.00 pm on the 9th November 1961 as it became more successful. The show appeared to attract British talent on the way up, rather then any more expensive, established names. On the move to a later time slot director Pat Lumsden told The Stage "We are switching times following hundreds of letters asking for the programme to be put on at a later hour". The 38 TAM rating that the show was getting in its 6.15 - 6.45 pm slot meant that it was getting about 300,000 viewers each week.


In late 1961 the show was pulled from the schedules because of the Equity strike which almost paralysed ITV for months and replaced by something called Pop Party. There seems to be some confusion as to what show appeared on the 7th December 1961 with The Times claiming it was Pop Party, while the Daily Mirror lists Spin Along. Spin Along returned in April 1962 with Freeman at the helm again having filled his time by hosting the BBC's Play Your Hunch whose host seat which had been suddenly vacated by Jack Jackson.


Although it's unlikely any footage exists of either show the BFI have on their website This Is Westward, a 1961 promotional film. In a backstage scene some prop-makers appear to be making scenery which includes British EP covers, possibly for Spin Along.





SPIN ALONG

Westward 12th September 1961 - 30th November 1961, 30th April 1962 -

POP PARTY

Westward  7th December 1961 - 4th January 1962