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Lift Off Pop TV Series
The Granada TV Pop Music Television Series

by
Bill Harry
Ollie Beaqk and Fred Barker: Lift Off!

Originally called ‘Discotheque', Granada Television began screening this series on 2nd November 1968, hosted by Billy J. Kramer and Diane Greaves. It was shown on Friday evenings between 5.20 – 5.50pm in the Granada, Anglia, Harlech and Thames regions after pre-recording at the Manchester Granada Studios.
From the start of its second season on 24th January 1969 it became fully networked. The show was moved to a Wednesday evening slot from 4.55 to 5.20pm and was hosted by Graham Bonney and Diane Greaves. On 19th March 1969 Ayshea Brough became co-host with Bonney and that season finished its run on 23rd April 1969.

The series returned on 5th November 1969 under the new name ‘Lift Off’, still hosted by Bonney and Ayshea, featured a resident group The Pattern, dance troupe The Feet, and ran until 29th January 1970. The next series began on 7th October 1970 when Graham Bonney and Ayshea were joined at various times by Ollie Beak and Fred Barker. This series ran until 30th December 1970.
The 10th August 1971 series saw Ayshea joined by Wally Whyton as co-host (and minus The Pattern) in a run that ended on 12th January 1972. When it returned on 12th April 1972 it was re-titled ‘Lift off with Ayshea’ and ran until 5th July 1972. The next series began on 11th October 1972 and ran until 3rd January 1973. Subsequent series ran from 27th April 1973 (with resident singer Guy Lutman and backing singers Lynn Garner and Chris Marlow) and 17th October 1973 to 9th January 1974. The final series ran from 1st July 1974 until 17th December 1974.

Like many TV shows of the time, most of the episodes no longer exist although there are two episodes from the final season in the Granada archives. They are episode 136 from 15th October 1974 which featured The Bay City Rollers performing ‘Raining In Your Heart’, ‘Freedom Road’, ‘Shang-A-Lang’ and 'All Of Me Loves All of You’, Barry Blue with ‘Touch of Your Loving Hands’, Ayshea Brough with ‘Horace Brown’ and Eli Culbertson with ‘Mountain Boy.’ Episode 144 from 17th December 1974 features Beano with ‘Candy Baby’, Crane with ‘American Dream’, Stephanie de Sykes with ‘Only Love’, Vincent Edwards with ‘Wonderland’ and Showaddywaddy with ‘Hey Mr Christmas.’ Interestingly, among the performances which were wiped were David Bowie’s ‘Starman’, Mark Bolan’s ‘Truck On Tyke’ and a Black Sabbath appearance.

The series was directed by Dave Warwick and Baz Taylor and produced by Muriel Young. Musical arrangements were by Gerry Allison with musical direction supplied by Derek Hilton.
Ayshea Brough - Lift Off!

Lift Off With Ayshea
Graham Bonney was a London-born recording artist whose singles included ‘Super Girl.’

Wally Whyton was a former member of The Vipers skiffle group who were resident at the 2I’s coffee bar. He created Ollie Beak and Fred Barker and appeared in numerous other children’s shows, including ‘Small Time’, ‘Lucky Dip’, ‘Tuesday Rendezvous’, ‘Five O'Clock Club’, ‘Ollie and Fred’s Five O'Clock Club’ and 'Five O'Clock Funfair’, several of them produced by, and also featuring, Muriel Young. He passed away on 22nd January 1997.

The Scouse owl Ollie Beak and dogged dog Fred Barker were two glove puppets that had originally featured in a series called ‘The Five O’Clock Club’ with Wally.

Graham BonneyWally WhytonMuriel YoungGranada Television

Muriel Young was a broadcaster who became famous for being the first announcer on commercial television when it began in 1955. She appeared as presenter, host and producer of numerous shows over the years and is probably best remembered for being the host of ‘The Five O'Clock Club’.

This children's entertainment show ran every Tuesday and Friday between 1963 and 1966, in which Muriel shared the show with the puppets Ollie Beak and Fred Barker. She also hosted ‘Tuesday Rendezvous’, was a co-presenter of ‘Thank Your Lucky Stars’ and, between 1976 and 1977, produced ‘The Arrows Show.’ She passed away in March 2001.

Ayshea was one of few British Asians on television at the time. She had her own singing slot in the show and a weekly column in the children’s magazine ‘Look In’. She sang several times with Roy Wood of 'Wizzard', who wrote, produced and played all the instruments on her 1973 single ‘Farewell.’ She originally made her recording debut when she was 16. Her first husband was Chris Brough, a staff producer at Polydor Records. As an actress she was also to appear in several drama series, including the Gerry Anderson sci-fi series ‘UFO.’ (right)

She moved to California in 1983 and married film producer Michael I.Levy, although they were divorced in 1990. Ayshea then began her own interior design business in Beverly Hills, but eventually returned to Britain and entered the property business.
Ayshea Brough 'UFO'

Sixties City: Any additional or corrective information to these listings would be gratefully received.

SERIES 1:
5th November 1969 to 28th January 1970

1) 05/11/69: Long John Baldry / Family Dogg / Ruby James / Tea & Symphony
2) 12/11/69: The Tangerine Peel / Dave Allenby / Ray Davis / 4 O'Briens
3) 19/11/69: John Walker / Millie Small / The Californians/ Ron Tremaine / Heathmore
4) 26/11/69: P.P.Arnold / Jimmy Cliff / Spectrum / Peppermint Circus / Magic Valley
5) 03/12/69: The Black Velvet / The Format / Gene Latter / Lorenzo & Margo
6) 10/12/69: Lou Christie / The Casuals / Niyah Shuffe / Samantha Jones / Chris Simmons
7) 17/12/69: No details available
8) 24/12/69: No details available
9) 31/12/69: No details available
10) 7/01/70: No details available
11) 14/1/70: No details available
12) 21/1/70: No details available
13) 28/1/70: No details available


SERIES 2: 7th October 1970 to 30th December 1970

1) 07/10/70: Mike D'Abo / The Tremeloes / The Peddlers / Jimmy Thomas
2) 14/10/70: Roger Whittaker / The Tangerine Peel / Miki Anthony / David & Rozaa / Bitter Almond
3) 21/10/70: Julie Felix / Black Sabbath / Labi Siffre / Honey Dew
4) 28/10/70: Pickettywitch / Dana / Roger Foss
5) 04/11/70: John Walker / White Plains / Mud / Maggie Brown / Baskin & Copperfield
6) 11/11/70: Harmony Grass / Tony Burrows / New World / Don Fardon / Lynn Holland
7) 18/11/70: Richard Barnes / Sky Pony / Doris Troy / Johnny Johnson / Magna Carta
8) 25/11/70: No details available
9) 02/12/70: Tommy Roe / The Equals / Mike Leroy / The Black Velvet
10) 09/12/70: Dave Dee / The Dream Police / Ken Dodd / Billie Davis / Keith Potger & The New Seekers
11) 16/12/70: Julie Rogers / Stavely Makepeace / Jeff Collins / Peter Noone & Herman's Hermits
12) 23/12/70: Graham Bonney returned as co-host and guest singer for a special Christmas show. No other details available
13) 30/12/70: The Sweet (Funny Funny) / Crane / Janie (Back On My Feet)

SERIES 3: 10th August 1971 to 12th January 1972

1) 10/08/71 The Sweet (Co Co) / Miki Anthony With Sally Sunshine
2) 17/08/71 The Tremeloes / Ken Dodd / Mac & Katie Kissoon
3) 24/08/71 The New Seekers / The Move / New World **
4) 31/08/71 The Marmalade (My Little One) / Tears / Tony Blackburn
5) 07/09/71 The Sweet (Funny Funny) / Keith Field & Luke Wilson / Chicory Tip (Excuse Me Baby) / Pickettywitch **

No details exist for shows between 7/9/71 and 13/10/71. As a 'series' looks as if it tended to be 13 weeks (excluding 'specials') it seems that this particular series ran for 23 episodes if it was transmitted every week during this period - similar to series 8 which was even longer - very strange!

10) 13/10/71 Jackie Lee (Rupert) / White Plains
11) 20/10/71 Vanity Fare / Billy J. Kramer / Flying Machine / Ayshea (Snowbird)
12) 27/10/71 The Sweet (Alexander Graham Bell) / Labi Siffre (It Must Be Love) / Roger Whittaker / Ayshea (I'm Into Something Good)
13) 03/11/71 Co-hosted by Jack Wild (Everything's Coming Up Roses) / Union Express No other details available
14) 10/11/71 Peter Noone / The Delmonts / Miki Anthony
15) 17/11/71 Cliff Richard (Sing A Song Of Freedom) / The Hermits (She's A Lady) / The Feet dance to Rockin' Horse (Biggest Gossip In Town) and Autumn (My Little Girl)
16) 24/11/71 The Move / Olivia Newton-John / Gene Pitney / The Feet dance to Sakkarin (Sugar Sugar)
17) 01/12/71 Rescue Company No.1 / Dawn (What Are You Doing Sunday) / Ayshea (It's Too Late) / Raving Rupert - Elvis impersonator (Blue Suede Shoes / Hound Dog) 18) 08/12/71 Charlie Drake (Puck Wudgie) / New World / Tony Christie
19) 15/12/71 Harry H. Corbett / The Tremeloes / Chicory Tip
20) 22/12/71 Tiger Sue / The Sweet / The Berries featuring Terry Webster
21) 29/12/71 Ken Dodd / Gilbert O'Sullivan / Mac & Katie Kissoon
22) 05/01/72 Tony Burrows / Nina / Des O'Connor / The Candy Choir
23) 12/01/72 No details available

SERIES 4: 12th April 1972 to 5th July 1972

1) 12/04/72 Colin Blunstone (Say You Don't Mind) / The Move / Smile / Roy Wood (When Grandma Played The Banjo)
2) 19/04/72 Gene Pitney / Peter Straker / Spode / Jack Wild film clip from 'Oliver' (Consider Yourself)
3) 26/04/72 Stavely Makepeace / New World / Dave Newman (The Lion Sleeps Tonight) / The Feet dance to The Marmalade (I Can't Help Myself)
4) 03/05/72 Jack Wild / The Real Thing / The Bay City Rollers (We Can Make Make Music)
5) 10/05/72 Chicory Tip / Peter Noone / Labi Siffre (Crying, Laughing, Loving, Lying)
6) 17/05/72 Rock Candy / Bruce Ruffin / Ken Dodd
7) 24/05/72 Roger Whittaker / Roger Whittaker and Ayshea duet (I Can't Grow Peaches On A Cherry Tree) / Mungo Jerry / Louisa Jane White / Petticoat & Vine
8) 31/05/72 The Tremeloes (I Like It That Way) / Glo Macari / Jumbo
9) 07/06/72 The Barron Knights / Susan Maughan / The Sweet (Little Willy)
10) 14/6/72 Gerry Marsden / Tony Burrows / Crackers / Marvin, Welch & Farrar
11) 21/6/72 Tony Christie / David Bowie / Hello / Emil Dean Zoghby
12) 28/6/72 Slade (Take Me Bak 'Ome) / Barbara Ruskin / Winston Francis
13) 05/7/72 Vanity Fare / Jo Ann Love / Festival

SERIES 5: 11th October 1972 to 13th January 1973

1) 11/10/72 Hurricane Smith (Who Was It?) / Sam / Solid Gold Band
2) 18/10/72 10cc / Gene Pitney / Boulevard
3) 25/10/72 Lonnie Donnegan / Keith More / Louisa Jane White / Lieutenant Pigeon (Mouldy Old Dough)
4) 01/11/72 Jack Wild (Picture Of You) / Junior Campbell (Hallelujah Freedom) / The Fortunes
5) 08/11/72 Bay City Rollers (Manana) / Tom Paxton / Sweet Chariot
6) 15/11/72 Nina Baden-Semper / Peter D. Kelly / Wizzard - their TV debut (Ball Park Incident)
7) 22/11/72 Bruce Ruffin / Jeff Collins / Esprit De Corps / Colin Blunstone (I Don't Believe In Miracles)
8) 29/11/72 Ken Dodd / Gaynor Jones / Muffin
9) 06/12/72 Middle Of The Road / Worth / Stavely Makepeace
10) 13/12/72 Christie / The Tremeloes / John Pantry
11) 20/12/72 Slade (Mama Weer All Crazee Now / Gudbuy T' Jane) / Tony Hazzard / Community Chest (with Emile Dean Zogaby)
12) 24/12/72 ( 45 minute Christmas special): The Sweet / New World / Ben Thomas / Miki Anthony / The Improvisers / Christmas carol medley by whole cast
13) 27/12/72 10cc (Johnny Don't Do It) / Frankie Stevens / Roger Whittaker / Olivia Newton
14) 03/01/73 Tony Christie / Charlie Jones / Seashells / Lieutenant Pigeon

SERIES 6: 27th April 1973 to unknown date

1) 27/04/73 Wizzard (See My Baby Jive) / Vie / Ayshea (Farewell / Get Down)
2) 04/05/73 10cc (Rubber Bullets) / Hurricane Smith / Jeff Collins
3) 11/05/73 Roger Whittaker / Steve Royal / Geordie (All Because Of You)
4) 18/05/73 The Tremeloes / Mike Rose & The Colour
5) 25/05/73 Gene Pitney / Julia Campbell / Miki Anthony
6) 01/06/73 Vanity Fare / Kincaid / Peter D. Kelly / Ayshea (You're So Sweet...Horseflies Keep Buzzing Round Your Face)
7) 08/06/73 Stavely Makepeace / The Fortunes
8) 15/06/73 Wayne Fontana / Louisa Jane White / Geordie (Can You Do It?)
9) 22/06/73 New World / Slade (Skweeze Me Pleeze Me / Kill 'Em At The Hotclub Tonight) / Brotherly Love / Jaki Whitren
10) 29/06/73 New World / Gary Bond / Middle Of The Road

No information is available about the remainder of Series 6. Series 7 starts with 'episode 108' so Granada TV records seem to be incomplete and there are a number of episode transmission dates missing from the listings of the series 1 through 6.

SERIES 7: 17th October 1973 to 9th January 1974

1) 17/10/73 No details available
2) 24/10/73 No details available
3) 31/10/73 No details available
4) 07/11/73 No details available
5) 14/11/73 No details available
6) 21/11/73 No details available
7) 28/11/73 No details available
8) 05/12/73 No details available
9) 12/12/73 No details available
10) 19/12/73 No details available
11) 27/12/73 No details available
12) 02/01/74 No details available

13) 09/01/74 Julie Rogers / Peter Barnsfather / Roy Wood

SERIES 8: 1st July 1974 to 17th December 1974

1) 01/07/74 Slade (The Bangin' Man) / The Flirtations / Angel / Ayshea (When You Walk In The Room)
2) 08/07/74 Sunny / Hector / The Scaffold (Liverpool Lou / Lily The Pink) / Ayshea (The Night Chicago Died / Country Roads)
3) 15/07/74 The Sweet (The Six Teens) / Merlin / The Settlers
4) 22/07/74 The Rockin' Berries / Barry Blue / Paul Da Vinci
5) 29/07/74 Bay City Rollers (Shang A Lang / Summer Love Sensation) / Bilbo Baggins / Dave Hunter / Sweet Dreams (Honey Honey?)
6) 05/08/74 Mud (Rocket) / Firebird / Louisa / The First Class (Beach Baby?)
7) 12/08/74 Paper Lace (The Black-Eyed Boys) / The Glitter Band (Just For You) / David & Andy Williams / Charlie James / Starbuck
8) 19/08/74 Alvin Stardust / The Wombles / Stephanie De Sykes & Rain / Mr. Big / Candida
9) 26/08/74 Bright Red Tandem / Grant Gaynor / John Christie / Geordie
10) 02/09/74 McGuinness Flint / The Rats / Scott Fitzgerald / New World
11) 10/09/74 Showaddywaddy / Limmie & The Family Cooking / Albatross / Gerry Lochran
12) 17/09/74 Erasmus / The Kiki Dee Band / Oscar / Wizzard
13) 24/09/74 Polly Brown / Sweet Chariot / Alaska / Ayshea (And Then He Kissed Me)
14) 01/10/74 David Essex / The First Class / Jack Wild / Gordon Bennett
15) 08/10/74 Lynn Paul / Daniel Boone / Hello (Tell Him) / Bitter Suite / Ayshea (Born With A Smile On My Face)
16) 15/10/74 Jigsaw / Barry Blue (Touch Of Your Loving Hand) / Ayshea (Horace Brown) / Eli Culbertson (Mountain Boy) / The Bay City Rollers (Raining In Your Heart / Freedom Road / Shang a Lang / All Of Me Loves All Of You)**
17) 22/10/74 No details available
18) 29/10/74 No details available

19) 05/11/74 Slade (Far Far Away / Standin' On The Corner) / Peter Oliver / Alister Jons

There was no transmission on 12/11/74 due to the government Budget broadcast

20) 19/11/74 Geordie / Freddie Garrity / Together / Julian Brook
21) 26/11/74 Stavely Makepeace / Hello / Zig Zag / Alvin Stardust
22) 03/12/74 Featured Sally James as a guest presenter: The Goodies (The In Betweenies) / Micky Moonshine / The Cats / Gary Glitter
23) 10/12/74 Peter Noone / Laari / Mr. Big
24) 17/12/74 Beano (Candy Baby) / Crane (American Dream) / Stephanie de Sykes (Only Love) / Vincent Edwards (Wonderland) / Him & Us / Showaddywaddy (Hey Mr Christmas)**

** Only these 2 editions 'officially' survive in the Granada archives (episodes 136 and 144).
Some sources state that episodes 28 and 30 may exist in the BFI archive





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