Home Music Music on Film & TV Shang A Lang

Shang A Lang

1 9 7 5 – 1 9 7 7 (UK)
20 x 30 minute episodes
1 x 50 minute episode

Shang A Lang premiered on Britain’s ITV on 1 April 1975 at 4.20 pm – and despite the date, it wasn’t a joke.

Produced by Muriel Young and originally scheduled to run for 15 weeks, the Granada Television show eventually ran for 20 weeks and saw the Bay City Rollers strutting their stuff in front of real live screaming fans.

Filmed at a rate of two a day, all twenty programmes were much of a muchness: the Rollers would play a clutch of numbers, a couple of guests would turn up to plug their latest single and a dance troupe would hop, skip and gyrate around.

Regular features included guitar lessons with top session man Big Jim Sullivan and a segment called ‘Let’s Roll Back’, which provided a look back at the history of rock & roll.

Guests included The Rubettes (performing I Can Do It), Slade (Thanks For The Memory), Lieutenant Pigeon (I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen), Gary Glitter (Love Like You and Me), The Glitter Band (Love In The Sun), Showaddywaddy (Three Steps To Heaven), Lulu (Boy Meets Girl), Alvin Stardust (Sweet Cheatin’ Rita), The Goodies (Funky Gibbon) and ITN newsreader Gordon Honeycomb.

The final episode aired on 25 August 1975 with the Rollers performing a routine with Lulu, replete with suits, bowler hats and furled umbrellas.

The boys returned for a one-off Christmas special on Christmas Day 1975 when they were joined by The Drifters, Gilbert O’Sullivan and Showaddywaddy.