TV Cream

Bric-a-Brac: D is for...


Short of the 45p (plus bus fare into town) to buy the latest hit parade favourite? No matter, just phone up this service to hear a crackly version of it, for the price of a phone call! A tad more limited in scope than Spotify, perhaps, but a darn sight more rewarding. And for the youngsters, there was Dial-a-Bedtime-Story, wherein a celebrity (usually Johnny Morris) tell a five minute story on an infinite loop. The fact that you were almost certain to phone up in the middle of the story, thus having to listen to the end before you got the beginning, enhanced the experience tenfold.



  1. Woodsy

    November 21, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    I remember listening to Dreadlock Holiday on Dial-A-Disc and, being the tight sod that I was, decided I would record it down the phone using one of those little microphones you sometimes got with a hi-fi system, and pressing it right against the receiver.

    But of course I had no idea when the song had ended, so my recording had all these little silences throughout, where I’d pull the mic away to listen to see if the song had ended, and then quickly press it back to the receiver again. And as for the quality….

    I also remember that if you dialled from a pay phone you got about 10 secs of the song free. Seem to remember listening to Boys Keep Swinging like this, until I’d heard it all the way through, with people outside the phone box, banging on the glass!

  2. Richard Davies

    June 22, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    BT used to advertise this & many other services like this on the back of the phone book in the mid 1985s.

  3. Richard Shaw-Wright

    August 21, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    This, the cricket scores, and numerous other BT services managed to run up a big ‘phone bill one quarter in 1987. Luckily for me, but not Neil Kinnock’s funds, it was on the second line installed for the grandly titled ‘Labour Party Committee Rooms’ (my front room) for the General Election. So, thanks, Mr. Kinnock. And we got to ride around in the car with the big megaphone.

  4. Glenn A

    August 21, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Now then, Richard, you probably cost Labour that election by your use of premium rate phone services funded through their funds. Just hope Neil Kinnock doesn’t find out who led to a massive increase in their phone bill in 1987 that could have been spent on campaigning, or who didn’t win them votes in a marginal seat because they were listening to premium rate phone lines instead of canvassing.

  5. Pete

    February 6, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    During my 60s teen days “Dial a Disc” came courtesy of the only private telephone system at the time, Kingston upon Hull. You dialled 0HU2 followed by the number that I remember well but won’t give as it’s in use. The fidelity suffered somewhat through its passage down 100 miles or so of co-axial cable between Hull and Liverpool.

  6. John Harvey

    April 4, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    As we seemed to spend most of our adolescent evenings in or around the local phonebox, we soon dicscovered that if you “tapped” the numbers into the handset rest buttons you could listen for free! (it also worked with ordinary phone numbers). Many memories of listening to Maggie May or Brown Sugar over and over, until some old spoilsport would want to use the phone to call a fire engine or ambulance. Bloody selfish I call it!

  7. chris wright

    June 7, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    what was the last record on dial-a-disk

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