Watch Blondie’s wonderfully vintage appearance on BBC kids show ‘Swap Shop’
If you were a child in the 1970s and ’80s the holy grail of television meant something slightly different to you. TV wasn’t as saturated and overrated as it is now some 30 years later. The technology represented the window to the outside world and, for small-town kids across the land, it was their connection cable to pop culture.
Bearing in mind there were only the terrestrial channels in the UK, and considering the limited viewing hours throughout the day, children’s television particularly was a pinnacle of pop. Given the medium, it meant that labels and production companies would often send some of the music and film world’s biggest and best to take on varying kids shows to seize their opportunity to speak to an enthusiastic audience.
It meant, of course, that we get the wonderfully vintage joy of seeing the likes of Blondie‘s Debbie Harry and Chris Stein on the ludicrously bad BBC television show ‘Swap Shop’. The show had made its own opportunity after first airing in 1976, offering one feature that felt extraordinary: the phone-in. You could actually phone in and speak to your heroes live on air—in the seventies, it has to be said, that this was almost like being able to speak to aliens on the other end of the phone.
The 1979 the show welcomed on one fo the hottest musical pros[pects in the world in Blondie. The band’s front line of Debbie Harry and Chris Stein would join the presenters on the sofa and answer questions from fans across the country. What ensued was perhaps the sweetest, most British and charming thing we’ve ever seen.
Enjoy an example of the questions, below.
Ian Rutledge: I wanted to ask Debbie, did she participate in any sports?
Beverly Chinnick: Um, Debbie, who designs your clothes, and um, do you choose them?
Samantha Jarrett: Um, um, Debbie, did you name your group after your hair
Paulette Baker: Can I ask Debbie a question? Was her hair always that fair colour, or was it brown like the other members of her group?
The video is something that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy—even if you’re not a child of the seventies. The show acts as a reminder of life before Twitter trolls there were sweet schoolchildren asking about the colour of people’s hair for the chance to win a cassette tape.