LOUGHBOROUGH’S FINEST SON (apart from TV Cream blog editor, of course), Mike was the face of a nation’s teatimes for a decade, “co-ordinating” (never presenting) NATIONWIDE, and never was there a man more able to segue seemlessly from an interview with the Home Secretary to an item about a man who could jump on (or to be more precise, faintly stroke with his toe) eggs without breaking them. When the programme began in 1969, it was his responsibility for filling in when the tincans and string holding the show together collapsed. Sure, there were other presenters – especially when it expanded from three to five nights a week in 1972 – but Mike was always the main presenter; so, as Frank Bough pointed out, this meant he said “Hello” at the start of the programme, and “Goodbye” at the end. In 1977 he left the show and, as has gone down in folklore, his last week was marked with a stately traipse around towns of “particular significance” to Mike via a specially kitted-out train, which caused many a letter to the Radio Times about the huge expense and self-indulgence of the whole thing. After marrying ‘wide co-host Dilys Morgan, he was then one of the new editions to a radically revamped SONGS OF PRAISE, along with, to quote the producer, “a signature tune with an extremely prominent drum kick”. However he did not, as you may have thought, go on to be Shakin’ Stevens – that was, in fact, another Michael Barratt. Ooh, you live and learn, don’t you?
Creamguide's Pick of the Day
It always amuses us when we see clips of Double Your Money and notice the category board includes both “jazz (traditional)” and “jazz (modern)”, though it is true that at that point trad really was big news, the nascent Pick of the Pops spinning off from Trad Tavern being just one example of its hold on the nation’s teens in the early sixties, despite it being influenced by music some forty years old at the time.
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