TV Cream

Radio 1: The Shows

Roadshow, The

“TODAY, live from Morecambe Pleasure Beach, with Miiiiiiiike Reeeeead!”. Resilient summer fixture, kickstarted by Fluff in the summer of 1973, in which a bunch of massive trucks visit various old-skool seaside towns – Minehead, Scarborough, Rhyl and so forth – with jock in tow to arse about between records. Audience participation most infamously included Bits And Pieces, in which four punters plucked out of the crowd had to identify as many Mel and Kim middle eights played in quick succession as possible, winners of these ordeals receiving a Radio One Goody Bag – Radio 1 mug, Radio 1 car sticker, Radio 1 pen, Radio 1 iron-on denim patch, Radio 1 ‘bug’ and Radio 1 car sunstrip, reading The Happy Sound of Motoring on 275/285, as seen on many a Mark IV Cortina estate well into the early nineties. Unsurprisingly, Steve Wright soon elevated to King Roadshows, with his gallery of hilarious comic characters. Smiley Miley, supposed driver and ‘chirpy’ second banana to the main jock, told everyone how far they’d driven, and handed out yet more Radio 1 tat. Then, come dusk, the trucks weighed anchor and trundled off to another provincial resort.

Most famous instance undoubtedly The Radio One Fun Day at Mallory Park; Bay City Rollers on an island in the middle of a lake, with various pre-pubescent tartan terrors wading towards them before fainting and being rescued by members of the BBC scuba-diving club, Tony Blackburn zooming around the lake in a speedboat being driven by someone in a Womble outfit, Noel Edmonds probably screeching around in an Escort Mexico. And not forgetting those typically-crazed ‘themed ideas’ for special shows – key examples include Ticket To Ryde (broadcasting live from the ferry to the Isle of Wight); Three Men In A Boat (Edmonds, Read and Gambaccini broadcasting live from, erm, a boat); In The Country – (Read doing his breakfast show from ‘the countryside’, largely because Read-endorsed 80s chancers The Farmer’s Boys had done a cover of Cliff’s In The Country).



  1. Glenn Aylett

    July 17, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    I went backstage to one at Seaton Carew, a faded holiday resort near Hartlepool and some ICI works. Apart from meeting Me Mark Page, who e mailed me a couple of years ago about my Radio 1 roadshow experience in 1985, and Peter Powell, I can remember it being a typical North East summer’s day: pouring rain, strong winds and freezing temperatures. However, the fact I was backstage was the main thing.

    • Joanne Gray

      April 1, 2017 at 9:41 am

      I know I’m 8 years too late, but just to clarify – Seaton Carew has been classed as part of Hartlepool since the late 60s when Old and West Hartlepool amalgamated to become a bigger town. I lived there for 37 years before escaping 🙂

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