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Jack Jackson was a bandleader and trumpeter who gave up his musical career in the late 1940s to compere a BBC radio series called Band Parade.
In June 1948 he was given his own late-night record show called Record Round Up and over the next twenty years his unique style made him a household name and influenced a generation of radio disc jockey’s, not least of all Kenny Everett.
Jackson’s trademarks were his lightning cuts between comedy extracts and mock-interviews utilising quick soundbites from popular radio and television programmes of the day such as The Goon Show, Hancock, Benny Hill and (later) Steptoe and Son and Till Death, Us Do Part all between the musical hits of the day.
The Jack Jackson Show was first seen on a Saturday evening, just two days after ITV came on the air. The programme came from the Embassy Club in London’s Bond Street and was a mixture of interviews with stars, music and news from the world of show business.
Realising that the show wasn’t working, after just a month ATV renamed the show On The Town, installing Australian actor Ron Randell as host.
Jackson was nevertheless retained and a new Jack Jackson Show began on Sunday afternoons. Later subtitled In Record Time, this allowed Jackson to focus more on recording stars.
It wasn’t long before the programme transferred back to a late evening slot where it became a firm fixture in the ITV schedules.
From behind a desk, Jackson presented a fast-moving combination of music and comedy, chatting to guests and welcoming his own supporting company of comedians, headed by Glen Mason and Libby Morris but also including at various times Pamela Barrie, Paddie O’Neil (wife of Alfred Marks), Joan Savage, Barbara Windsor, Bernard Landy, Paddy Edwards and Pamela Manson.
His cat Tiddles featured, too.
As on his radio show, Jackson kept the audience on its toes with a constant barrage of sounds – snippets of music, snatches of conversations – using, on average, around 60 records in some form or other during each 30-minute programme.
Most of the music came from the usual combination of big band singers, vocal groups and stage performers but as rock’n’roll and skiffle began to take a hold so those at the forefront of the new music were also featured, initially Tommy Steele but also Lonnie Donegan, Cliff Richard and Marty Wilde, all of whom would feature heavily on – and benefit immensely from – rock’n’roll TV shows as the decade progressed.
When Radio One was launched in 1967, Jackson transferred from the Light Programme to host Record Roundabout which lasted until June 1968.
He passed away in 1978, just short of his 72nd birthday.