1 9 7 0 (UK)
10 x 12½ minute episodes
Starting out in only the London region of ITV and first broadcast between 11.45 pm and midnight on Friday 10 July 1970, The Party’s Moving On – a rather twee music and monologue show – was recorded live over three separate sessions at the London Weekend Television Studios at Wembley Park.
The core cast included headline act Julie Covington alongside British folk singer, songwriter and guitarist Pete Atkin, and journalist and broadcaster Russell Davies.
Accompanied by Laurie Holloway on piano, Jeff Clyne on bass and Johnny Spooner on drums, Covington would usually begin each show with a song. Atkin usually followed. The pair would then round-off with a duet.
Sandwiched between the music, Russell “Read ’em and weep” Davies (as Covington referred to him) would pop up to impart words of wisdom taken from back issues of Melody Maker.
Classed as ‘Light Entertainment’ by LWT, the station produced 10 episodes. In an attempt to boost viewing figures, the 12-and-a-half minute show was switched to Sundays on 23 August 1970 but the rescheduling failed to attract a bigger audience. Two weeks later, on 6 September 1970, the show was cancelled and the party was over.
All but one of the tapes were erased or used for something else. The only surviving episode – episode two (although actually the seventh to have been recorded) – aired on Friday 17 July (but had been recorded in front of a studio audience on 15 April).
Within days of its cancellation, Covington, Atkin and Davies teamed up again for another late-night LWT production, the six-part revue-style vehicle What Are You Doing After The Show?
Covington went on to greater things: a 1976 #1 with the Evita musical song, Don’t Cry For Me Argentina and a starring role in the ground-breaking music-based drama series, Rock Follies.