Cheggers Plays Pop: Missing Episode Found!

Remember Cheggers Plays Pop? Well if you recall the pop-quiz-cum-assault-course game show then Paul has a bit of exciting news for you…


Ever since I met my girlfriend (now wife), I’ve always been in awe of the fact that her school featured on an episode of Cheggers Plays Pop, and she herself played one of the Jeux Sans Frontières style games. Of course, she had taped it (who wouldn’t if they were going to appear on TV?) and her mum would get the VHS tape out on occasion to show it off.

When the age of VHS was drawing to a close my mother-in-law had the episode, along with her copy of our wedding video, converted to a DVD by one of those companies that specialised in such a service around the mid-2000s as people started to realise they’d no longer be able to watch their beloved tapes! So we’ve had this DVD with our wedding and the episode of Cheggers knocking around for a decade or so, watching it now and again to show it off to friends, thinking nothing more of it.

So yesterday I was reading a blog post by the broadcaster, author and David Bowie/Clangers expert Tim Worthington about how a children’s TV show called How Do You Do! is missing several episodes, thanks to the BBC’s penchant for deleting much of its archive in the pre-digital era. At the end of the article, he called on anyone with tapes of kids’ TV from the 70s and 80s to check and make sure their recordings are not missing episodes.

“Hmmm,” I said to no-one in particular. “I wonder if mine is one such episode…”

Well…

It turns out that Mrs C’s appearance in series 7 episode 6 (episode 63 overall) was one such rarity!

Broadcast on 22nd May 1984, hosted by the late Keith Chegwin that week’s team captains were Pauline Black , singer with ska band The Selecter, leading Brooksbank School (my wife’s school) from Elland in Yorkshire and Ben Ellison, star of the sci-fi drama/game show Captain Zep: Space Detective, leading Pendlebury High from Manchester.

The musical acts were Eddy Grant singing Romancing The Stone, Haircut 100’s Nick Heyward singing Love All Day and, in an extremely rare UK TV appearance, the German singer Peter Schilling performing Major Tom (Coming Home).

I’m working with the good folk from TV Brain to get a copy back to the BBC, but for now, enjoy this episode which has most likely not been seen by anyone (apart from the three thousand people my wife and mother-in-law have shown the VHS to) since 1984…

Paul Childs

As well as writing for Den of Geek and Your Truth, Paul also runs Badgers Crossing, a site for ghost stories. He loves the 1980s and thanks to a keen interest in Public Information Films he has never been electrocuted or set himself on fire.