Swap Shop Returns

THERE’S good news today for fans who enjoyed a golden era of Saturday morning TV.
Noel Edmonds is reuniting with Keith Chegwin, Maggie Philbin and John Craven for a one-off Swap Shop special on BBC2 called It Started With Swap Shop.
The two-hour documentary, to be screened one night over Christmas, will see them looking back at 30 years of Saturday morning kids’ TV on the BBC.
Guests are due to include other Saturday stars, the likes of Sarah Greene, Andi Peters, Emma Forbes and Mike Read – not forgetting Philip Schofield, Zoe Ball and Jamie Theakston.
I’ve interviewed all of them over the years, some several times, and they all loved working on Saturday mornings…once they’d got over the alarm call.

The new programme will bring back memories for generations of Saturday morning BBC viewers, which always included a core audience of hungover students.
Remember Trev and Simon? The Singing Corner? Double Dare? Agony uncle Philip Hodson? Take That’s very first TV performance of Relight My Fire, with Lulu? Torchwood’s John Barrowman? Mr Blobby’s daytime job? Little Scots lad Stuart Anderson singing Donald, Where’s Your Troosers and Bonnie Wee Jeannie McCall?
The BBC 2 look back is being made by Noel’s company Unique Television. Director of programmes Michael Leggo says: “These shows launched the careers of some of our biggest TV names and defined a turning point in entertainment formats.”
Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, to give the show its full original name, began in 1976 and ran for six years.
It broke new TV ground and led the way for other BBC Saturday morning shows Saturday Superstore, Going Live and Live and Kicking.
ITV, of course, has its own glorious – and not so glorious – history, wth a series of Saturday shows from Tiswas to Ant and Dec’s SM:TV. But that’s another story…
Friday October 27th update: I’ve been talking to It Started With Swap Shop producer Fiona Clark who says her team are looking for anyone who took part in Swap Shop or any of the other Saturday morning BBC shows. They want your stories, your memories…and you could end up back on the show again.
Click here for more info.
And if you want to make a special 30th birthday card for the team, so they can put it up on the set, send it to: Unique Television, Power Road Studios, Power Road, London W4 5PY.
Multicoloured Swap Shop
Saturday Superstore
Going Live
Live and Kicking