Multi-Coloured Swap Shop

1976 - 1982 (146 editions)

Noel Edmonds
John Craven
Keith Chegwin
Maggie Philbin

For what was to become perhaps the archetypal / pivotal / quintessential SatKids show - take your pick - Swap Shop's beginnings were inauspicious. In fact it was, as they always say in these cases, "originally planned as a series of six programmes".

The first producer was Rosemary Gill, ex of Blue Peter, who conceived the programme around the idea of 'swapping' as a way of attracting the kids. Following on from the previous year's Z Shed, the show was initially built solely around loveable Radio One DJ Noel Edmonds sat in a studio. When it became apparent that this was too claustrophobic for three hours, the outside broadcasts were introduced. These used the BBC's O/B teams, who were already out and about ready to cover the footie, and were a stroke of genius.

Mention of this brings us to Keith Chegwin... The cheeky chappie wrote to the BBC at the age of 19 begging for a job, and the rest was history. Never mind his later slip from grace - the divorce, descent into alcoholism, endless wilderness years and showing his cock on Channel 5 - with Swap Shop and Cheggers Plays Pop, Keith was a true seventies icon. And for all his faults, the job of standing in the wind and rain at Milton Keynes for three hours was ideally suited to his ever-cheery disposition, as it is twenty years later on It's A Knockout.

Providing the intellectual weight was John Craven, fresh from his Newsround - Swap Shop being his Saturday job, arf. Lastly, Maggie Philbin (see right in a typical pose) was added later as a helper for Cheggers.

Also featuring:


Noel (peering out of screen): Hey - It's Michael from Giftnot! He's still in his pyjamas!


The theme tune changed for the fourth series. The new version was "Hello Hello", a tie-in with Noel's Lucky Numbers telephone game. This written by B. A. Robertson and performed by the legendary Brown Sauce (Noel, Cheggers and Maggie). The original theme went something like: "Swap Shop, daah dah da-da da-de da-dah, da-da da-da da-da da-da da-daaaah". "Which is why we got a new one," as Noel once explained to a curious viewer.

Lee Binding remembers that "on the final edition they started to give away the set to people who phoned in to swap things. Some bitch got the cylindrical clock that had been behind the desk for its entire run - I was so bitter. Someone also got Poshpaws, but hey ho."

Recommended Website: "Swap Shop"
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