Countdown: Do Yourself a Favour: Nov 23

2014-11-20_1329Get ready for the 1980s in Part 2 of Countdown‘s retro-spective, which features interviews with Boy George, Kylie, Jimmy Barnes, Brian Mannix, Kirk Pengilly, The Wiggles, Kate Ceberano (even spotted dancing as a teenager in the studio) -and someone called Molly.

By the 80s, a generation of kids reared on Countdown were appearing on the show. Artists like Kylie Minogue, Kate Ceberano and Pseudo Echo stepped up to perform on the famous Countdown stage. The show was perfectly placed to reap what it had sown and the Aussie charts exploded with home grown stars. All of a sudden bands like INXS were setting the world charts on fire. We embraced their success as we embraced our sporting heroes.

A new wave arrived to infuse the show with a new swagger and Countdown got bigger, wilder and more popular. Molly was lost in a swirl of international meetings, recording dates, exclusives and dancing competitions. Record companies fought over him and accompanied his trips to Europe and America – hanging out with ABBA, Madonna and U2. The world’s most famous artists had never seen anything like him – outrageous, frank and funny – with a magical enthusiasm for their work.

The more Molly toured the world after exclusives, the more guest hosts arrived. The lighting budget went up, the staging went up and everything got bigger and bigger. However, trouble was brewing with the arrival of the big budget video clips and Countdown began to lose its relevance. Sadly, the world moved on and the ABC axed the show in 1987.

Countdown was a place in time that brought the world of wild and sexy pop stars to our teens. And it took our stars to the world. Presented by Julia Zemiro.

Countdown: Do Yourself a Favour 7:40pm Sunday ABC.

One Comment:

  1. I hope they point out that it was actually the “pay for play” controversy in mid 1987 which resulted in Countdown (and Sounds on Seven) being axed. Record companies wanted TV stations to pay an extra royalty whenever music videos were played. Rage even disappeared for a few weeks and it was the superb negotiating skills of then ABC chairman David Hill which helped bring the standoff to an end and for Rage to be put back on.

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