Wednesday 3 February 2016

Dingy (2)

Continuing a short run of blogs celebrating English dinginess in its many manifestations, here's the telly presenter Hughie Green, of Opportunity Knocks fame, in his thoughtful farewell to "the year of 1977": Stand Up and Be Counted.

Do try and sit through the whole thing. Just when you think it can't possibly get any worse, it gets very much worse. What was this all about?

From Wikipedia:

Right up until its final shows, Opportunity Knocks was a ratings hit that attracted up to 18 million viewers weekly. But Green, known for his right-wing politics, had decided he was bigger than the show format he had devised and began politicising an apolitical family-friendly format. It has been suggested that Green believed that Harold Wilson and his Labour government were communists and that Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, should replace Wilson as leader of the country and, to that end, he used Opportunity Knocks as an end-of-year soapbox, telling the country at the end of 1974 to 'wake up!' Two years later, in December 1976, Green sang a rant about the state of the United Kingdom called "Stand Up and Be Counted", with the words coming up in subtitles: "Stand up and be counted, where the managers manage and the workers don't go on strike". It was released as a single in 1977. Partly seen as an open support of Conservative leader Margaret Thatcher, he was disciplined by Thames Television, but continued to make political comments. After numerous viewer complaints, Thames axed the show in March 1978, despite its attracting high ratings, something Green mentioned in a bitter rant against Thames in his last show. 

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