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TV Pop Diaries
Pop Music on British Television 1955 - 1999

After the mis-fires of both Pop The Question and Countdown Southern's Mike Mansfield was given another go, but this time it would be on location. The short series was a musical tribute to the rivers Thames and the Seine, filmed in the summer of 1966 on board The Southerner, Southern TV's own boat and hosted by Anglo-Franco singing star Petula Clark. The show would feature singers performing their songs along the riverbanks. The four-parter was originally scheduled to be shown in September 1966, but it took almost two years for the series to be shown in its entirety.

The Musical Associates were Tony Hatch and Mike Leander, with the theme written by Tommy Moeller of Unit 4 + 2 and sung by Petula Clark. Ketty Lester, who recently had her own Southern TV special, had been hired to appear when the production was due to begin late February or early March 1966. Dionne Warwick was also sought for the show, which by January 1967 was now being promoted as seven, thirty minute shows.

Filming began on 1st June 1966 with Petula Clark performing Homeward Bound on the banks of the River Thames and then taking to the river itself for a shoot with Dave Clark and Cathy McGowan in a power boat the following day. 16th July 1966 saw filming in Paris with Marianne Faithfull, Richard Anthony and Claude Francois, with Lulu in Paris on the 18th. Further filming would include Adam Faith, Sandie Shaw, Mark Wynter, Unit 4 + 2 and dancers The Gojos. According to Melody Maker filming continued 2nd November 1966 with Lulu in Paris again.

Quite while it took almost two years to be shown is unknown. The international flavour of the show must have made it potential Montreux TV awards and export worthy, but it wasn't to be.



23rd January 1967 - 27th May 1968