1 9 8 0 (UK)
2 x 60 minute episodes
1 9 8 1 – 1 9 8 3 (UK)
32 x 60 minute episodes
Originally broadcast in October 1980 as two standalone variety shows, Starburst returned as a series the following year and brought an hour of old-school variety to ITV on Wednesday nights in 1981, 1982 and 1983.
Produced at Elstree Studios by ATV (later, Central Television), the fast-paced shows had no presenter but featured nine or ten acts each week with musical guests, including Gene Pitney, Lulu, Cilla Black, Petula Clark, Alvin Stardust, Mud, The Flying Pickets, Sheena Easton, Bucks Fizz, The Hollies, The Searchers, The New Vaudeville Band and Chas and Dave; and comedians such as Bob Monkhouse, Tommy Cooper, Bernie Winters, Leslie Crowther, Jim Bowen, Mike Reid, Duggie Brown, and Norman Collier.
Speciality acts such as jugglers, impressionists, ventriloquists, dance troupes, instrumentalists and illusionists also appeared.
The series – conceived by light entertainment chief Jon Scoffield – proved very successful and consistently rated highly.