The first TV show produced by former BBC radio producer Johnnie Stewart, later tasked by the BBC to help create Top of the Pops.
The show was an attempt to catch the Traditional Jazz fad in Britain before it faded. The BBC had the weekly Jazz Session and had covered the Beaulieu Jazz Festival the year before and many of the genres’ top acts were incredibly popular across all media, live appearances, records and broadcasting.
Jazz clubs had sprung up all across the country after the war led by bandleaders
like Ken Colyer, Chris Barber, Mick Mulligan and Humphrey Lyttelton who over the
next decade would be responsible for the first great British post-
Talking to Disc producer Stewart said "Presenting bands on television has always
been a problem and I'm not claiming I've completely solved it. But I have a formula
which I believe is a step forward. We're having two name bands every week playing
on a large, open set around which 150 kids will be dancing. The kids will make good
visual pictures. The happy up-
Radio DJ Brian Matthew was the first host, followed by Alan Dell. Seven shows were originally commissioned but a further six were requested proving its success. Producer Stewart on hearing the news of the extended contract claimed it was "panicsville". He managed to book Acker Bilk, Monty Sunshine and their respective jazz groups to help fill in the remaining shows. ATV would follow in 1962 with All That Jazz, a slightly watered down version with pop singers crooning jazz standards.
One edition of The Trad Fad appears to be located at the Library of Congress in the USA.
The show has also been seen with an alternate title The Trad Fad and All That Jazz.