||THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS
1960s pop music show featuring the latest single releases.
"Io'll give it foive -but I won't boiy it!."
ABC TV: 1961-66.
Planned as ITV's answer to Juke Box Jury, which had been running on BBC television since 1959, Thank Your Lucky Stars arrived on British TV screens in April 1961 and soon became a hit with the nations teenagers. Along the way it set a number of notable firsts, the most famous being the first full-network appearance on television of The Beatles.
The man behind the shows initial success was producer Phillip Jones, who had previously been a programme assistant on Radio Luxembourg. In six years at the popular music station he had worked his way up to Programme Controller before switching to television for Granada and Tyne Tees and producing 'specials' for Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee and Bing Crosby. It was Jones who booked The Beatles to appear on January 19th 1963 to mime to their second single "From Me To You," and Jones too who realised early on the impact that the so called 'Mersey Sound' was to have on Britain's youth, enabling him to put on a show in June of that year featuring Liverpool's finest, accompanied by The Searchers, Lee Curtis, The Big Three, Kenneth Cope and the Breakaways, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, The Vernon Girls and Gerry and the Pacemakers. That show alone pulled in over 6 million viewers. "The ratings achieved by that show proved the Liverpool sound was not limited in its appeal to a local audience -obviously it had a national following." Said Jones.
The shows original presenter was Keith Fordyce who later moved on to front 'Ready Steady Go,' and other DJ's appeared with varying degrees of regularity. Amongst these were Jimmy Saville, Pete Murray, Alan Dell, Sam Costa, Barry Alldis, Kent Walton, Jimmy Young and Don Moss. It was Moss who first cornered a weekly panel of youngsters in a segment of the show called 'Spin a Disc,' a shameless copy of the 'Juke Box Jury' format where the latest singles were played and the panel then passed judgement on the records, giving marks out of five. This particular part of the show created its own star in the form of 16 year-old Janice Nicholls from Wednesbury, Staffs. Her broad Black Country accent made her comment "Oi'll give it foive" something of a national catchphrase, and the youngster, who had planned to become a telephonist at a light-engineering company in the same street where she lived, soon found herself in demand on television, in national newspapers and charity events. At the same time she was given a permanent place on the panel at Birmingham's Alpha Studio, where the weekly show was filmed on Sunday night's in front of a live audience, before going out the following Saturday.
Of all the shows presenters though, the one who is most closely associated with 'Thank Your Lucky Stars' was Brian Matthew, who over the years not only introduced some of the best British acts but some of the best from the USA too, including The Ronettes, Brenda Lee, and The Supremes. Matthew, also a successful radio DJ with the popular 'Saturday Club,' had originally trained to be a serious actor before coming something of a respected authority on pop music. In 1964 ABC commissioned 'Lucky Stars Summer Spin' as a mid-year replacement and in 1965 Jim Dale took over as presenter. However, with the British beat boom losing a little of its impetus 'TYLS' was cancelled a year later.
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