1 9 7 8 – 1 9 8 6 (UK)
81 x 25 minute episodes
The BBC turned pop music into a game show with Cheggers Plays Pop.
The effervescent Keith Chegwin had come to fame as a roving reporter on Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, which itself offered a sprinkling of pop artists each Saturday morning, usually being interviewed over the phone by viewers.
Cheggers Plays Pop built on that by presenting a number of fast-moving quizzes and It’s A Knockout-style games themed around music.
Two teams – the Reds and the Yellows – representing schools, scout troops or youth clubs, competed each week in a series of physical and mental challenges. Team captains were popular celebrities of the time.
In and around the fun, guest artists performed their chart singles, among them Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Suzi Quatro, Showaddywaddy, Slade, Bad Manners, Martha & the Muffins, Duran Duran, Bananarama, ABC, Shakin’ Stevens, The Undertones, The Chords, Bucks Fizz, Dave Edmunds, Madness and Spandau Ballet.
Top of the Pops founder Johnnie Stewart directed the early shows.
Keith Chegwin died on 11 December 2017 having been ill with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis for an extended period. He was 60 years old.