November 08, 2014

Countdown Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary: Prince Charles Recreates The Interview With Molly Meldrum:Updated: Molly Gets Inducted Into ARIA Hall Of Fame


I definitely remember watching this - all those years ago! What a terrible shame that some bean-counter destroyed many of these great performances. Of course the BBC did quite a bit of that also,destroying many tapes by The Beatles and others. Lost forever.

PRINCE Charles has royally roasted Molly Meldrum by imitating their classic awkward interview. 
The Prince’s Mollycoddling will be aired as part of the ABC’s two-part Countdown: Do Yourself a Favour documentary, starting next weekend.

Breaking with usual royal tradition, viewers will be amused when Prince Charles recreates the legendary blooper reel from the 1977 interview.

The future King of England stumbles over his words, gets man-handled by an aide, references Meldrum’s swearing and asks for a glass of water.


“I certainly learned some interesting new Australian words from Mr Meldrum and if he could have read my mind he would have learned some interesting new English words from me,” Charles stated in the pre-recorded video.

He also joked “There is an old showbusiness saying which warns never to work with animals or children. But nobody prepared me for Molly Meldrum. Was it really 40 years ago? It only seems like yesterday. I wish it were tomorrow, I’d cancel it.”

The message was kept top secret from Meldrum until this morning.

“The world has gone mad!,” a shocked Meldrum said after watching the footage.
“It’s truly unbelievable. They’ve even recreated the moment where (Countdown director) Ted Emery was pushing me off camera. It was surreal.

Meldrum said he was “floored” by Prince Charles’s tribute.
  “I can’t quite believe it happened. The way he’s done it is so flattering, even with someone impersonating Ted Emery whacking me, copying my mistakes, asking for the water,” he said.
“It has really floored me. Just this week someone came up with the Countdown Silver Jubilee album and I signed it ‘With apologies to Prince Charles’.

The program spent a year negotiating with Clarence House for Prince Charles to record a message celebrating Countdown’s 40th anniversary.

However they were not expecting the wicked sense of humour on display.

“Initially we were hoping to get him to record his best wishes for the 40th anniversary of Countdown, hopefully with a few on-camera comments about that 1977 encounter with Molly,” Do Yourself A Favour’s producer Jeremy Boylen said.

“When they agreed to him recording a message I sent some information and a few potential light hearted remarks for his consideration. But he had far grander comedic plans. He really went to a lot of trouble. It’s a very warm-hearted roasting of Molly, a very affectionate parody of his sometimes stumbling interview technique.”

Meldrum was caught on tape swearing after Prince Charles had left the South Melbourne studio where the interview was recorded. The expletive-laded outtakes leaked on YouTube several years ago. 

Meldrum had been told the interview, and the outtakes, had been seen by not only Charles, but Princess Diana and their two sons Harry and William.

“Apparently it’s a bit of a running joke at Buckingham Palace,” Meldrum said.
The Countdown documentary clarifies the Prince did not hear any of Meldrum’s more salty language at the time.

“The Prince had left the building by that stage but later became aware of Molly’s swearing on YouTube,” Boylen said. “You’re left with the impression the whole royal family is still amused by the encounter with Molly. The Prince of Wales must have done countless interviews over the years, but this appears to be one he has vivid and fond memories of.”

Boylen enlisted the help of former South Australian premier Mike Rann in his capacity as Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom to help secure the Prince’s involvement.

“Mr Rann raised the matter informally with two of the Prince’s aides and vouched for the production team behind the program,” Boylen said. “I sent the Prince’s communication team the original Countdown footage and some photos of Molly with Prince Charles.

“The Australian High Commissioner had a meeting with Prince Charles at the Prince’s London residence Clarence House and they had a pretty animated and humorous discussion about Countdown and the Prince’s place in Countdown history. I believe it became clear the Prince had very clear and vivid memories of his encounter with Molly and he was told what a memorable moment it was to a lot of Australians. I can only assume he has a soft spot for Australia, the Australian sense of humour and Countdown.”

As well as actual royalty, the program features musical royalty including U2, Kylie Minogue, Bjorn Ulvaeus from ABBA, Rod Stewart, Kiss and Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran reliving their memories of Countdown.
Episode one focuses on the 1970s, with the second part concentrating on the 1980s.
The first episode features a holy grail for music fans, with footage from the first episode of Countdown from November 1974 which was long thought erased.
Producers have included Sherbet performing Silvery Moon in episode one of the Countdown documentary.

“We don’t have the whole first episode, but we found that lovely footage of Sherbet,” Boylen said. “They were broadcasting in black and white for the first eight episodes, but they were being recorded in colour. One or two of those songs have turned up.”

Sadly, a rash of cost-cutting at the ABC saw many of the tapes of early Countdown episodes erased and re-used to save money. Most of the episodes from 1974 to 1978 were lost, including several early AC/DC performances.

Ironically AC/DC had offered to pay handsomely for the Countdown footage when putting together a DVD compilation, but were told most of the performances no longer existed on tape.

“From my research there were hundreds of episodes erased,” Boylen says. “It’s a pity. They erased them for budget reasons, they needed the tape, but at that time there was no understanding as to what a pop cultural resource those Countdown episodes would have been and that 40 years later we’d still care about Countdown.”

A companion CD is being released to coincide with the documentary, which follows the release of Meldrum’s autobiography The Never, Um, Ending Story.

Details here.Thanks Terry☺

 Disc 1
1. Countdown Theme 0.11
2. Skyhooks – Living In The 70’s 3:42
3. John Paul Young – Yesterday’s Hero 3:43
4. ABBA – Mamma Mia 3:32
5. Ted Mulry Gang – Jump In My Car 3:05
6. Hush – Bony Maronie 3:10
7. Sherbet – Howzat 3:46
8. Elton John and Kiki Dee – Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 4:33
9. Blondie – In The Flesh 2:31
10. Fleetwood Mac – You Make Loving Fun 3:31
11. Little River Band – Help Is On Its Way 4:02
12. John Mellencamp - I Need A Lover 3:30
13. The Angels – Take A Long Line 2:57
14. Kiss - Rock And Roll All Nite 2:47
15. Iggy Pop – I’m Bored 2:45
16. Plastic Bertrand - Ҫa Plane Pour Moi 2:59
17. Australian Crawl - Beautiful People 2:53
18. Robert Palmer – Bad Case Of Loving You 3:12
19. Flowers – Sister 3:24
20. Dragon - Are You Old Enough? 4:10
21. Richard Clapton - Deep Water 5:29
22. Meat Loaf – You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth 5:04
23. The Motels – Total Control 3:45

Disc 2
1. Countdown Theme 0.11
2. Cold Chisel – My Turn To Cry 3:19
3. The B-52’s – Rock Lobster 4:54
4. Martha and the Muffins – Echo Beach 3:36
5. Ian Dury and the Blockheads – Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick 5:24
6. The Romantics – What I Like About You 2:55
7. The Swingers – Counting The Beat 3:04
8. Split Enz – I Got You 3:29
9. The Human League – Don’t You Want Me 3:57
10. Duran Duran – Girls On Film 3:28
11. Kim Wilde - Kids In America 3:21
12. Billy Idol – Rebel Yell 4:45
13. Men At Work – Downunder 3:41
14. Goanna – Solid Rock 4:31
15. The Sunnyboys – Alone With You 3:59
16. Moving Pictures – What About Me? 3:37
17. The Style Council – Walls Come Tumbling Down 3:22
18. Culture Club – Karma Chameleon 4:12
19. Hunters & Collectors – Throw Your Arms Around Me 3:53
20. Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse Of The Heart 4:30
21. Cyndi Lauper – True Colours 3:46


Countdown: Do Yourself a Favour airs on the ABC on Sunday, November 16 and 23 at 7.40pm

With thanks to News.Com

More at The BBC

From Wiki
Countdown was crucial to the success of many leading Australian acts, including AC/DC, Olivia Newton-John, INXS, Hush, Kylie Minogue, I'm Talking, John Paul Young, Sherbet, Skyhooks, Marcia Hines, Mark Holden, The Angels, Mondo Rock, Men at Work, Icehouse, Australian Crawl, Mental As Anything, Little River Band, William Shakespeare, Renée Geyer, Wa Wa Nee and Jon English,below.



Some of these Countdown performers can be found on You Tube and on this blog you can find Jon English and John Paul Young.
Use the search function - top left.

Molly Meldrum honoured for 50 years in the music business and about time!

Lots of pictures here.

COUNTDOWN host Molly Meldrum has been inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame and used his time in the spotlight to send his best wishes to cricketer Phil Hughes. 

(November 26th - paywall) 
Ed: Sadly Phil Hughes passed away - November 27th.A tragedy for all. 
Sincere condolences to his family.

 Above: Molly with Marcia Hines and John Paul Young.
"Molly" the mini-series.


February 2016 

Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese's Mini-series

♥♥Remembering Jon English♥♥