With Noel departing to grown-up telly, a replacement for Swap Shop was needed. Adopting the 'if ain't broke don't fix it approach' the BBC recruited another Radio 1 DJ, Mike Reid, to sit behind a desk.
Perhaps reflecting the demise of the corner shop in Britain at the time, out of the flames of Swap Shop, Saturday Superstore was born.
To tie-in with the title the shop theme was liberally applied to everything, no matter if didn't make sense. Mike Reid became the General Manager. Cheggers returned and became the Delivery Boy. The first episode was announced as the Grand Opening and the competition prizes were hence known as bargains (which of course didn't make any sense as there was normally only one prize, not a hoard of 'em going cheap).
John Craven returned with his news spot, but Maggie Philbin (who was presumably off producing mini-Cheggars) was replaced by Sarah Greene of Blue Peter fame, as the Saturday Girl.
Unfortunately for Sarah, because it was the 80s, she got to wear ghastly fashions (leopardskin leggings with black lace puffball skirt anyone?). The final year saw Vicky Licorice joining the team. Her main job seemed to be sitting in the Coffee Shop, fluffing her lines.
Whereas Saturday Superstore had Delia before she was famous, Superstore had David Icke before he became the Son of God. Back then he was just another failed footballer, brought onboard to talk all things sport in the Sports Department.
Other additions to the team included a sieve-headed robot called, erm, Sieve Head and in later series, a Liverpudlian crow called, erm, Crow.
Apart from a few cosmetic changes the Swap Shop format was left intact, but then the producers hit on the big idea of launching a talent contest, based on the mistaken belief that kids can sing, dance or do anything entertaining. The fact that all the Saturday Superstore
Search for a Superstar could muster was Claire and Friends singing 'It's 'Orrible Being in Love When You're 8 ½' should have told them to quit while they were ahead.
A bigger studio audience of kids was added (hence the Coffee Shop) which is probably why Mike Reid looked like a rabbit caught in headlights most of the time.
| Cue titles Saturday morning get down to the Superstore.|
| Happy Valentines Mike, Keith, Sherlock and your letters.|
| Bag a Bargain Mike and Keith try blow tops.|
| Prize Pick Rentaghost guests and Dobbin pick the winners.|
| Lookee likee Mike's double, or is it?|
| In the Sports Department Introducing Ike.|
| Slice of life The BBC canteen bread buttering machine.|
| Expert tosser Keith talks to the BBC pancake expert.|