About: Saturday SuperStore

There was no doubt about it - Swap Shop was going to be a tough act to follow, but the BBC's new replacement programme was up to the task. Basically by just altering the format slightly, a whole new show was created Saturday SuperStore.

The main differences between this and it's predecessor was it's 'themeing' and the lack of the 'swapping' element.

The main presenter of the show, or the 'General Manager' as he was known, was, again, the then host of the Radio 1 breakfast show Mike Read. Keith Chegwin was the show's 'Delivery Boy' who spent time out on the road with the Delivery Van (a refurbished version of the old Radio 1 Roadshow vehicle) and latterly in the show's run alternating into the studio based 'Warehouse'. Ex footballer and then BBC Sport presenter David Icke was taken on board and could be found in the Sports Department. John Craven too came over from Swap Shop, and again interspersed a mix of news and rotten jokes. And to complete the set, Maggie Philbin also appeared on the show on and off during the first series.

Later in the run, Sarah Greene (ex of Blue Peter) joined the staff as the 'Saturday Girl', and the following year Vicky Licorish also came on board and was generally found loitering around in the 'Coffee Shop'.

The show had a reputation for the guests that it seemed to be able to draw. In the run up to the General Election, the show managed to get the then leaders of the main three parties to appear on the show in successive weeks - and it was then they found it was the children who could ask the most awkward questions.

The show also had it's own talent searches. The Saturday SuperStore Search for a Superstar was run for a couple of years. Prince Edward even made an appearance on the show to announce the winner of the first competition - and then stayed around for the rest of the morning, even taking phone calls from viewers. A different type of competition was to find the country's most talented School Caretaker!

As it seemed to be fashionable at the time for almost all children's programmes to have a 'puppet' element, the show had two creations of it's own towards the backend of it's run. Sieve Head was a small robot who sat on Mike Read's desk, and Crow was an annoying puppet with a scouse accent.

Mike Read's musical background gave the show a few running jokes relating to his guitar playing. It probably was also responsible for a Brown Sauce type attempt at making a record, the difference being that the SuperStore record called Two Left Feet was basically pretty awful!

During the final year of the show, a fresh faced Phillip Schofield hosted his own feature on television - little did we know...

Saturday SuperStore ran for five years.


  Celebrating BBC Saturday Morning television since 1976