TV Pop Diaries

Popular Music on British Television

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2nd October 1976 - 27th March 1982

Devised by Blue Peter production staff and hosted by Radio One DJ Noel Edmonds, only too happy to give up the weekday breakfast shift. He had a previous attempt at the children television show format with the Wednesday tea-time show Z Shed.

The principle idea was for kids to phone in and offer swaps with others kids from around the country, an idea that had already been used by Southern Television in the late fifties with their shop Swap Shop and by Capital Radio in London with their show Swap Shop!

The only idea for the new show was to try to counter the ever growing success of ATV’s anarchic Tiswas, however, the all too familiar Blue Peter approach got in the way. While Tiswas attacked the senses and kept the audience on the edge, Swap Shop barely kept them awake.

Outside broadcasts featuring outdoor swap meets 'Swaporama' were handled by actor Keith Chegwin (aka Cheggars), while the host was joined in the studio by Maggie Philbin and Newsround’s John Craven, the guest puppet was a dinosaur, Posh Paws.

Several specials were made including Swap of the Shops featuring repeats of the music acts appearing live in the studio.

Despite its unpopularity with most children, everyone knew the phone number was 01 811 8055. Every week promo clips were shown, while a guest act would perform live and be questioned by children over the phone. Despite being a children's show, no children were actually seen in the studio, unlike Tiswas. The series was due to last six weeks, but ended up lasting six years, giving way to the similar Saturday Superstore.