If you were a kid in the 70s & 80s the holy grail of TV meant something slightly different to you. Television wasn’t as saturated and overrated as it is now 30 odd years later. It 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 3 channels in the UK and with limited viewing hours throughout the day, ‘kids’ television particularly was a pinnacle of pop. This meant that labels and production companies sent some of the music and film world’s biggest and best taking to the children’s shows to seize their opportunity to speak to an enthusiastic audience.
This means we get the typical vintage venture of seeing Blondie‘s Debbie Harry and Chris Stein on the ludicrously bad BBC TV show ‘Swap Shop’. The show had seized its own opportunity when it first aired 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, this was almost like being able to speak to aliens on the other end of the phone.
In 1979 the show welcomed on one fo the hottest musical pros[pects in the world, 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.
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 color, or was it brown like the other members of her group?
The video is something which will make you feel all warm and fuzzy even if you’re not a child of the seventies and acts as a reminder that before Twitter trolls there were sweet schoolchildren asking about the colour of people’s hair for the chance to win a cassette tape.