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TV Pop Diaries
Pop Music on British Television 1955 - 1999

Stramash! (emphasis on the second syllable) means riot, and was broadcast from the home of the phrase, Glasgow. Producer David Bell told The Stage that it would be "An organised musical riot. The tumult will will include songs from a wide field of programmes - rhythm and blues, spirituals, jazz, folk music, potential chart material and so on. It will compliment rather than take the place of Top Of The Pops". Made by BBC Scotland the show was broadcast in the rest of the UK from the first show until 3rd January 1966 and then shown locally for the rest of its run, and in the process moving from Monday to Friday. The network showing was replaced by The White Heather Club.

Talking to the Evening Times in late 1965 producer Bell confessed "It's a 'half-switch way' show. You can click into 'Stramash' at any time and get the full value out of the programme, because the viewer who had just switched on is at no disadvantage. What we've always been after is pace. People to-day are so familiar with television that it is no longer necessary to have identifying shots for every change made. It's possible to switch about from one act to another without a laborious introduction at one end and a thank-you speech at the other."

The show relied on available local talent like Lulu and The Luvvers, The New Faces, Peter Cooke (fresh from BBC1's Gadzooks), Chris McClure (from group The Fireflies), The Senate with Sol Byron, and two dance troupes The Stramashers (a six piece all woman troupe who had previously appeared on the Kenneth McKellar Show), and The Lindella Movers.

Lulu and The Luvvers performed in the pilot show in August 1965 and made themselves available for the first five shows after it had been commissioned.

One English act who appeared regularly was piano player and singer Peter London (looking a lot like Elton John mid-nineties), while Paul Simon, still in his solo folk days between Simon & Garfunkel albums, also appeared on the show.

The show was intended to run for 13 weeks, but in early December it was extended for another six, and its budget increased to help attract international acts. Despite finishing on 11th February 1966 bookings seem to have been made for an 18th February 1966 show including The Fortunes, but the show had come to an end the week before, replaced by Folk In Focus.

This is another one of the great lost pop TV shows with no known editions existing.



4th October 1965 - 11th February 1966