Back to April 1977 (28th April 1977)

There’s pretty slim pickings on offer today. Thanks to the Talons DVD, I can watch how to make a model Dr Who theatre courtesy of Blue Peter. It looks rather complicated though, so I don’t think I’ll bother ….

Later also on BBC1 there’s Top of the Pops. The Punk wars might be raging on the streets of Britain but at this point the TOTP studio felt hermitically sealed off from that sort of thing – middle-of-the-road fare is what you can expect today.

Hosted by an uncomfortably grabby DLT, the show isn’t without interest though. There’s the likes of Contempt with a catchy ditty called Money is a Girl’s Best Friend. I also rather enjoyed the new 10cc video (Good Morning Judge) and goggled at the outfits worn by Rags (performing Promises Promises).

The undoubted highlight was Billy Ocean’s Red Light Spells Danger.  With a live vocal and enthusiastic backing from the Pops Orchestra and The Ladybirds, it’s a very entertaining performance (even if he’s stuck at the back of the studio behind two very bouncy dancers and forced to sing to an audience who seem less than enthused).

Anglia offers Paul Daniels At The Wheeltappers. Given that this final run wasn’t networked, it’s possibly not a surprise that the series rather spluttered to a halt and didn’t return after these 1977 shows aired. A pity, as I’m rather fond of the At The Wheeltappers format – a half hour show with just the one turn (provided, of course, that they were a good one) gave them plenty of time to present a decent showcase – something that the earlier series didn’t always manage to do.

7 thoughts on “Back to April 1977 (28th April 1977)

  1. Austin Mitchell won the Great Grimsby by-election for Labour.

    The only programmes out of that lot that I would definitely watch would be Crossroads and Top Of The Pops. There’s a lot of stuff that I would watch if it was on, but that I wouldn’t switch on to watch… If I was at a loose end, I think that I might see Hue & Cry on BBC2. Prefixing the film with an authentic contemporaneous newsreel is an imaginative touch, characteristic of the care that BBC2 at its height put into film programming.


  2. I am wondering what Paradise Island is all about starring Bill Maynard? In 1977, he was still playing Selywn Froggatt (”That’s magic our Morris!”).


    • I remember that. It starred William Franklyn and Bill Maynard as, respectively, a ship’s captain and a priest who get shipwrecked on an island. They were the only actors in it apart from voiceovers. The theme tune was the By the Sleepy Lagoon, the Desert Island Discs theme.


  3. Sometimes when I was bemoaning the lack of repeats of Doctor Who and Blake’s Seven on BBC television, I would point out that certain comedy shows had been repeated more times than White Horses. And in 1977, the first year that houses with colour television outnumbered those with black and white only, BBC were showing the umpteenth repeat of White Horses in the main children’s tv slot. (It was usually shown on holiday mornings.)

    As you said Blue Peter was the one where they showed you how to make the Doctor Who toy theatre, and the items on how to make the theatre are included on the Talons of Weng-Chiang DVD. They printed figures of the Doctor and Leela in Radio Times which you could stick on card to make puppets for the toy theatre. Or you could use the figures given away in Weetibangs two years earlier.

    I used to have a toy theatre which I got from the Pollock’s Toy Museum. Has anyone else been to that museum.

    I have just noticed that two of the mainstays of BBC children’s tv are missing from this week’s schedules, Jackanory and Newsround.

    More on Top of the Pops on a seperate post, but I didn’t always watch Top of the Pops at that stage. Some Thursdays I watched children’s tv and did my homework in the evening. Or I may have been watching Paradise Island.

    I remember Royal Heritage, but I didn’t see much of it, even though history was something I’m interested in.

    I didn’t watch Hue and Cry that night, although I did see it on tv many years later. I believe the Ealing Cinema season included the six classic Ealing comedies.


  4. According to the very useful Top of the Pops Archive website, the playlist for Top of the Pops broadcast on 28/04/1977 was:

    Money Is a Girl’s Best Friend by Contempt
    Legs and Co dancing to I Want To Get Next To You by Rose Royce
    Could It Be I’m Falling in Love by the Detroit Spinners
    Good Morning Judge by 10cc
    Promises Promises by the Rags
    Ain’t Gonna Bump No More (bad gammar) by Joe Tex
    Night Hours by Kiki Dee
    Red Light Spells Danger by Billy Ocean
    Love Theme from A Star Is Born by Barbara Streisand
    Wise Man by Uriah Heap
    Legs and Co dancing to The Shuffle by Van McCoy
    You’re My Life by Barry Biggs
    Knowing Me Knowing you by Abba, that week’s number one
    The First Cut is the Deepest by Rod Stewart played over the closing credits

    In 1977 they still played the charts at the beginning of the programme accompanied by the Top of the Pops theme tune, but later in the seventies they dropped the theme tune and playe a record over the chart rundown

    The best pop group of the seventies appeared on Top of the Pops broadcast on 14th of July 1977.


  5. On BBC2, Noel Annan summarising his report on the future of broadcasting would have been intriguing. I believe that one result of his committee deliberations was the establishment of Channel 4. I wonder how many of their other predictions came true ?


    • Speaking of programmes from 1977 making predictions about the future. I never forgave the BBC for not repeating the Silver Jubilee edition of Horizon in 2002.


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