1 9 7 0 (UK)
7 x 30 minute episodes
This short-lived BBC series hosted by Michael Aspel featured British club entertainers taking part in a nationwide competition for the 1970 Stage Awards. While it couldn’t be described as top-class entertainment, it showcased new talent, giving a chance to artists who had not appeared much (or even at all) on television.
The calibre of the comedians particularly stood out and their category was easily the strongest. The singers stood out for the wrong reasons – not necessarily because they were not good singers, but because what many of them chose to perform for television was ill-advised.
Television is not a big cabaret club, television is an audience of millions, stone-cold sober in their homes, who have seen on television the best singers in the business. Viewers do not want to see a new face singing a song, no matter how well, that is long out of date or has been sung to death in the past few months.
For the most part, the singers underlined the difference between performing in a club and performing on television: TV cruelly highlights the slightest flaw.
The other two categories – musical and speciality – had some talented performers.