TV Cream

TV: R is for...

Ready, Steady, Go!

WHAT RICHARD O’SULLIVAN was to Friday night telly in the 80s. Call-to-arms curtain-raiser for the weekend and ubiquitous front room appointment-to-view, helmed by KEITH FORDYCE, MICHAEL ALDRED and a big star in the 60s and an ever bigger star in the, er, CATHY MCGOWAN. What your school disco would’ve been like without teachers present. Much hyped exaggerated 60s swingingness and “hey there!” shambolic presenter style would go on to define all pop shows for evermore. The Beatles appeared, as did Glenda Collins and The Orchids. Got axed just as British rock was on a roll. For some reason Dave Clark (of the Dave Clark Five) ended up owning the rights, re-packaging what highlights remained in the archive as a series of compilation shows bundled out on Channel 4 in the 1980s…to an assuredly far greater audience than the one which saw it the first time round.



  1. Glenn A

    July 6, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Famous for an early appearance by the Beach Boys where Fordyce asks the band if surfing is a kind of music, to which the bemused band and the ageing presenter started to lose track of one another and the band decide to start playing I Get Around.

  2. Droogie

    January 6, 2021 at 10:33 am

    Highly recommend the excellent recent coffee table book by Andy Neill celebrating RSG . Dave Clark’s re-editing of the show in the 80’s so that the DC5 appear in each episode ( using clips from other TV shows ) is a piece of shameless historical revisionism that would’ve made Stalin blush. ( Clark also added clips of his showbiz friend Cliff Richard too, who never even appeared on RSG as he was deemed too square!). Strange cat, Dave Clark. He was one of the few musicians of the British Invasion to make serious money by recording the music himself independently then leasing the songs to the record company rather than signing a duff contract with them like most groups did. But then he ruined their legacy with the catastrophic decision to repeatedly delete the DC5 back catalogue , thinking it would increase interest in the band for when he’d release a best of compilation every few decades. All it actually did was put this band who once matched The Beatles for record sales into relative obscurity because people couldn’t buy their records or rediscover the music. His treatment of the rest of the band was pretty shabby too, especially singer Mike Smith who was the sole musical talent in the group.

  3. Sidney Balmoral James

    January 6, 2021 at 6:27 pm

    The Dave Clark Five were bizarrely popular in the US, for a very bog standard beat combo, even allowing for the US thirst for British groups in the wake of the Beatles. When Dave Clark finally re-issued DC5 product in the US, I believe – although I couldn’t find a picture online to prove it – the deal included a Dave Clark-themed restaurant at Disney World. This was not in 1965, but at the end of the eighties! How strange is that? Don’t think it lasted very long. Dave Clark was close friends with Freddie Mercury, and was with him when he passed away.

  4. Richardpd

    January 6, 2021 at 10:38 pm

    I’ve also got mixed feelings about Dave Clark for similar reasons. I never knew he was friends with Freddie Mercury, but there are strangers friendships in showbiz!

    Music Svengali Alain Kline also kept a lot of back catalogue he owned under lock & key for decades for no obvious reason.

    Some of the Rolling Stones albums were unavailable on CD for many years because of this.

    My Dad was irked by this as any artists who recorded on Cameo Parkway didn’t get any compilations on CD until a few years into the 21st Century.

  5. Droogie

    January 7, 2021 at 12:27 am

    I think Dave Clark was friends with Cliff and Freddie based on their shared no-girlfriends-ever lifestyle. Bachelor boys all to the end! Some of the DC5 catalog is actually very good. The early singles still sound great , especially a track called Anyway You Want It which is a Frat rock classic up their with Louie Louie .

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