TV Pop Diaries

Popular Music on British Television

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SUPERSONIC

London Weekend
1st March 1975 - 2nd April 1977

Produced by ex-Southern Television legend Mike Mansfield, brought in by London Weekend to help flesh out Saturday Scene with some much needed live musical appearances.


A one-off pilot was shown in March 1975 and was considered successful enough to commission for a whole series which started in September 1975.


The show appeared at an odd-time for British pop, bridging the tail-end of the more poppy faction of Glam Rock and the punk era.


Andy Bown was brought in to record the theme (also released as a single, he even made an appearance on the show to promote it). The show featured the first flops from the likes of Roy Wood, Gilbert O'Sullivan, Alvin Stardust, Slade etc. After moving the show to teatime it gave the first prime time exposure to punk since the Sex Pistols Bill Grundy outburst when the Damned appeared in February 1977 performing Neat Neat Neat.


The visual style was similar to the teatime weekday pop shows with screaming girl fans kept at a reliable distance from the stars, while each act was introduced from the control by Mansfield himself or any passing celebrity walking through the London Weekend corridors. There was briefly a tie-in magazine which gave away a flexi disc of Mansfield talking to the Bay City Rollers.


There was a perception that the kind of pop music that the show peddled was on its way out (particularly with the advent of disco), so the show was cancelled in Spring 1977.