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About Saturday SuperStore
Saturday SuperStore was the 1982 replacement for Swap Shop. It had a supermarket theme, with competition entries picked out of giant trollies, rather than the plastic bubble lowered by Eric, but lacked the swapping element.
Mike Read was the main presenter, or 'General Manager', of the show. As Noel had been, Mike was the Radio 1 breakfast show host at the time. 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 then later, in the studio-based Warehouse. Ex footballer and then BBC Sport presenter David Icke was taken on and could be found in the Sports Department. John Craven came over from Swap Shop, and again interspersed a mix of news and rotten jokes. And Maggie Philbin also appeared 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 leaders of the main three parties, Margaret Thatcher, Neil Kinnock and David Steele to appear on the show in successive weeks… and found it was the children who could ask the most awkward questions.
The show also had its 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. He then stayed around for the rest of the morning, even taking phone calls from viewers. Another competition found 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, the show had two creations of it's own towards the end of it's run. Sieve Head was a small robot who sat on Mike Read's desk, and Crow was a puppet with a scouse accent whose nephew Malcolm was later brought into the show.
Mike Read's musical background gave the show a few running jokes relating to his guitar playing. It was also responsible for a Brown Sauce type attempt at making a record. The SuperStore record called Two Left Feet was basically pretty awful! The show’s theme tune, Down at the Superstore was also released as a single by The Assistants - Dave Edmund, BA Robertson, Cheryl Baker, Junior and Suzi Quatro.
Pop acts featured on the show included a very new Wet Wet Wet and Matt Bianco who were famously called w****** by a caller on line 1. The Pop Panel featured the day's guests, including Margaret Thatcher, who Keith told viewers had hairy legs.
During the final series of the show, a fresh faced Phillip Schofield hosted his own feature on television - little did we know...
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It Started With Swap Shop a Unique TV production for BBC TWO