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 The Who on Ready Steady Go!

This was the anthem for thousands of British youth back in the 60's. It was the all important show that kicked off their weekend and the only TV show at the time that catered for young people, and gave them a glimpse of all the new music, fashions and lifestyle of the mod'ern generation.
To get you in the mood for this documentary, and as a big thankyou to everyone who replied online to our requests for your RSG! memories, we've put some excusive audio clips here of interview extracts which you won't hear in the programme - enjoy!

 Sandie Shaw on RSG

In this documentary Sandie Shaw looks back at the show that changed the way music was presented on TV, and was a mirror on the Swinging 60's, reflecting the music, the fashions, the dance crazes, and the pop art of the times. Ready Steady Go! was first broadcast on 9 August 1963 on ITV, and what made it special was that it started at the same time as the British beat boom, when groups like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and The Who were just on the verge of taking the music world by storm. 

Cathy McGowan

RSG! became synonymous with the British Mod movement and 60's youth culture, a time that was fresh and exciting. Some very cool people appeared on the show - and that was just in the audience! Clothes and dancing ability were all-important for candidates for the show's audience. The rewards were great as successful entrants would regularly be rubbing shoulders with the Beatles, Dusty Springfield, The Stones, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Marvin Gaye, Gene Pitney, The Beach Boys, Cilla Black, and Manfred Mann.

Cathy McGowan

Broadcast from Rediffusion's Studio 9 in Kingsway, London, the show went out live on Friday nights just after 6 pm and was hosted by Keith Fordyce and Cathy McGowan. Cathy quickly became a role model for the female population and nominated the Queen of the Mods. This programme tells the story of RSG!'s impact on the popular culture of 60's Britain, as well as giving a behind-the-scenes look at how it all came together, and some of the amazing music that was first broadcast live on the shows. And although the show ended in 1966, it has gone on to attain cult status, and still remains an important tele-visual window looking back on an era of great social change.

What are you memories of Ready Steady Go?

Disclaimer: The BBC will put up as many of your comments as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.

Read what others have said..

Geoff Posner, London
Unlike other teenagers who watched RSG to see the latest groups and fashions, I started looking at how it was put together. When Michael Lindsay-Hogg took over, he did amazing things with the cameras and for me a defining moment came when he directed Paint It Black (which he talks about on a clip). That was when I decided to go into television to excite in others what he excited in me. I have gone on to have a long (and some may say successful) career in television and it is all due to Ready Steady Go!

Woody - Melb, Australia
Worth going through the whole RSG Musical hour of the 14th Feb; Listening to the interviews of Eric Burden, Cilla. Vicki et al; reading the 'Memories" from "participants" around the world.....especially David Thackers meemory of his airport meeting and chat with the incomparable Dusty Springfield Can't wait for RSG Hour of 21st Feb Out here in 12 years of age in 1963 (no internet back then !!!).... wasn't able to listen to RSG,TOTPs etc......however the Aussie shows that emulated RSG (Uptight and Go Show) gives us a feel for what you Brits were fortunate to experience every Friday for over 3 years.....Will tell a story later of my young Mod days Woody "Everyday I gotta cry some!.....Wipe the tears from my eye some!.....Every day I gotta cry!!"

David Lodge, Vancouver, Canada
The Stones, (who always were the bees' knees and vicar's knickers for me after I first heard them on Jack Jackson's show on Radio Luxembourg) singing "The Last Time"! Checking out the birds and the "gear" Happy Days! Any plans to put the programmes on DVD?

Ray. Aylesbury Bucks 18th Feb.
I've just listened to you'r programme about Ready Steady Go,and just had to say thanks for a great programme about a great show.Many thanks. R.M.

Andy Newark, Cranleigh Surrey
Oh what fond memories this programme brought me of RSG! I recall that we could only receive Southern and not London ITV, (Southern to its shame only showing an abridged version of RSG the following Sunday afternoon). So everyone would invade the home of our one friend in the village who could get London, every Friday teatime! RSG and the Pirates sold sixties music to me; all radio and TV since has been a pale imitation.

marilyne marlow
I was in the audience of RSG during its final year 1965-1966. I went in for one of its regular comps. This one was to sing like Marianne Faithful. I turned up to a studio in London somewhere with my Mum, with about 200 other young hopeful girls, who were all Marianne look alikes. I won a passport to RSG We were sent tickets once a month, and we could write and ask if we wanted to be on a particular show. My friend and me went up many times. Taking the day off school on a Friday (we lived in Brighton) The most memorable show was when the Stones took over the show, comparing it, performing loads of songs. I remember they took the mickey out of the Honeycombs, dressing up and miming to their song. Later in the show Mick held my hand all the way through Have Mercy! I was in ecstacy. My friend was unaware, and wandered back in a daze clutching Charlie Watts' drumstick. I was often asked by Vickie Wickham to bring a male guest instead of female. I did it once, but it wasn't half as fun as being with my mate.!!

John Thacker Ricmansworth
The memories of this show are fabulous to read, would love to know where Irean Salt from Pinner managed to find Best Bits for her mum. I think several people would love to know also where to get a copy. Many thanks John.

Graham Baker
Just finished listening to the show on the internet and it left me very dewey-eyed about a world so far away in time & distance - now in Australia, the memories of my youth in Leeds and the very special Friday night RSG that we had been waiting all week to see, which nearly always meant a trip to town next morning to buy the very latest 45 seen & heard last night on 'our' show of the week... Time to dig out my RSG laserdisc - yes they are available if you look around :-)

Gaye Rogerson Shepperton, Surrey
It was wonderful to listen to this, my friend Liz and I were Mods and used to watch all the dances so that we could go straight out afterwards and show off on the dance floor - lets see a DVD with what shows there are available compiled together!

Christine Ward - Westgate on Sea, Kent
How wonderful to relive those fabulous memories. I lived in Hasting at the time and had to watch very Friday so that I could learn 'the dance' to perform at the Saturday dance on Hastings Pier where we saw The Beatles, Stones, Gene Vincent, Zombies. What a great time we had. Listening made me feel 18 and a 'mod' again. thank you

Phil Mod - Merthyr Tydfil
I remember watching the re-runs in the '80's, I was around 17, as I was Mod, me and my friends were obsessed with what the Mods in the audience were wearing, their hair, the dancing. We weren't interested in the pop bands, the Stones or the Beatlesbut the Soul and R&B artists. I wish the original shows were still about, I'd give anything to see them - pictures - anything! The ones in the 80's were ownend by Dave Clark of the Dave Clark 5 and had been badly butchered. Still Keeping the Faith. Phil Mod

David London - Twickenham
I worked on many of the shows as a studio floor manager. My everlasting memory was of the then unknown great James Brown taking over the whole show and just leaving everybody absolutely speechless ! Great memories.

Elaine Dowson, Leeds Yorkshire
There was a period when RSG was broadcast on different days in the North from the South. I remember being on hols with Southern cousins and watching the Walker Brothers Special, then dashing back to Leeds and seeing it AGAIN on another night.!!!! Does anyone remember Ready Steady Winner? The Thirds? The Bow Street Runners won the comp. I think. Also the amazing dance competition in the first era ..Sandy Sergeant fromk the Putney Pontiac? We as little girls couldn't believe the fabulous life our then 'elders' were leading...and looked forward to experiencing it ourselves...but it was over.

Lucy, Nottingham
I agree with Mark it would be great if a TV version could be produced and it was a shame Cathy McGowan wasn't interviewed. Could she host a TV version? I don't think she does much TV work anymore. She has been the girlfriend of the gorgeous singer, Michael Ball since 1989 when they met when she interviewed him.

Jenny Hamilton - Northampton
Loved the show, my daughter was born in 1963 and every Friday night we used to watch it... Cathy MgGowan went on to other things in local radio and is now longtime partner of Michael Ball - saw her at one of his shows and she still looks great!

peter clarke London sw13
the Everly Brothers singing Love is Strange but wasn't most of it mimed?

Mark . Chelmsford Essex
Really enjoyed the documentary, it would great if it could be transferred over to a TV version. It was a bit of a shame that Cathy McGowan was not interviewed herself. Is she still around and what happened to her after RSG?

John Thacker Rickmansworth, Herts
This was a fabulous time for me,RSG was the show I would rush home from school to watch on a Friday evening. I was fifteen at the time so too young to go to the shows live. I loved Cathy Mcgowan presenting the shows, she was fabulous.I wish she could be brought back onto our screens, where are you Cathy. A few years ago I was very lucky to look after Dusty Springfield at the Airport, she was terrific and we had a long conversation about her early days and especially about RSG, how I treasure that moment I had with her.

Rita Darling - London
Boy! Ireane Salt in Pinner, where di you find Best Bits on DVD?? would love to know? Yep, I was on RSG. Got picked from my local dance hall (sic!) Leyton Baths, I actually went a couple of times, I remember what I wore and would love to show my now Beatles besotted 15 year old daughter me in 1964!!! Anyone help?

Helen Braley. Nashville Tennessee USA
I was a RSG dancer and was recently given my RSG 'passport' by an old friend when I was recently in London (I live in Nashville, Tennessee), she had found it in a book when she was moving, I must have left it many moons ago. I had forgotten how important that show was, and how important we were to the show, I was one of the 10,000 who showed up in Kingsway and Vicki Wickham picked me out. Every Friday was such a thrill, I usually took my brother. Oh the clothes, I remember wearing bullseyes on my knees made out of felt, and actually made most of my clothes. I won the Marilyn Faithful look alike and later the sing alike!!! I was picked as one of the girls the Who most wanted to date and other such claims to fame . I later auditioned for Mike Leander and in fact worked for the BBC on a program called 'The Teen Scene' with Mike Hurst as host. There has never really been another period like the 60's has there? I only wish I still had some Biba or Apple label clothes. I wish I could sit through a few of the shows. Thanks again for a great show, Helen Braley Newman

Alison Brandon, Surrey
Yes, this was the sound and look of the 60's! How I wish you could buy what remains available on DVD to relive our youth. There was nothing like it before or after.

Used to live in south London-picked out at the Purley Orchid,went to London for the show-flash 'mod' in Check jacket and buttondown shirt-lambretta with 40 lights and a fox tasil hanging off Aerial on back.Dance-today called "cool" then one of a few picked out and asked to go to Montreaux for a golden rose show -with the Stones and Petula clark-never been out of UK before -had to get a passport-day of work-went 3 days of booze and 'fun' no sleep -one of 4 blokes made to mime to Cliffs new record -got home -rushed home to see show fell asleep and missed it [Called my mum a few names for not waking me]-but what an adventure for a south london lad of 17 !now 60 in a month -still remember the buzz!congratulations on reviving the music- regards Ken randall

steve Wales
too yng 2 remember the show but great fan of Sandie Shaw in the 80's. Seems the right person to present the show- will listen with interest!

Maggie Jenner, Dorset
I watched the programme every week but my highlight was going to the Mod Ball in London which was in conjunction with The Variety Club of GB, Ready Steady Go and Rediffusion. The Ball went live on the TV for an hour. Some of the stars on the show were The Rolling Stones, Cilla Black, The Fourmosts, Cathy Kirby and others. It was introduced by Keith Fordyce and Cathy McGowan. It was a great night.

As a regular attendee to Ready Steady Go I cannot wait to listen to your programme tonight. One comment I would like to make it was made at the Television Studio in Wembley in the beginning. As I lived in Hendon at the time. Nearly every Friday I would go and see all the stars, Sonny and Cher, Walker Brothers, PJ Proby, Yardbirds,I was wearing all the lastest fashion, how I ever managed to buy them I will never know. Wonderful memories.

Sue. Bucks
I won a ticket to see the Beatles being recorded for Ready Steady Go at Wembly Stadium.We had to be auditioned, though, to go onto the programme, Kathy McGowan asked me if I was over 16 which you had to be to go on and handed me a ticket!It was recorded there as the fans would heve mobbed them at the live location.I have myself on tape with them it's really great to watch, I feel a part of history.It doesn't seem that long ago in some ways, certainly a time to remember.Everybody at school watched it,they came up to me next day,and said they'd seen me!

Michael & Rosemary Ford, Swanage, Dorset
As 17 year olds, we were picked at our local club as RSG dancers,living in South London at the time, for the 20th May 1966 show where Sandie Shaw appeared along with Ben E. King and a guest being one of the Beach Boys. We danced, slowly mind you, as we were asked to dance together on a tall tubular plinth as part of the audience. Would love a video copy of the actual show...any chance, Sandie?

Carol Cox, Miami, Florida USA
In Denver, Colorado growing up in the 60's, we all had English 'pen pals' who would send us English pop magazine so we could copy the 'Mod' look of Cathy McGowan...she was the envy of every girl in junior high and we all wanted to look just like her. Fortunately, my mother would sew my clothes from the photos of Cathy and other English pop icons of the time, for me....we loved the 'British invasion' back then.

Karl Schneider - Crawley / West Sussex
Born 69 So missed out - But I now have bits on dvd & Video. Luv everything about the Sixties - Hated the 80's / 90's and today ! Well what can I say. Will the shows be ever shown on tv again ? (All the shows) What a FAB show.

Jimbob, Nottingham
Great programme....i only wish they had kept all the tapes.....

Rupert, Kent
I was born in 1968 but remember staying up very late in the early 80s to catch reruns of this fantastic programme. I remeber The Otis Redding Special especially with Eric Burdon and Chris Farlowe - all of them doing 'Land Of 1,000 Dances' I think. Also I have Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames doing 'Monkeying Around' - so cool. What great risks they took - putting on artists like Rufus Thomas who must have been almost unheard of over here. It is such a shame that most of them were wiped over when you think of the great artists that must have appeared on the show and the garbage that they probably bend over backwards to keep these days. I would love to see The James Brown, Who and Motown specials. When will what remains be put on DVD?

Chris Jones in Rayleigh, Essex
It's funny to think of pop telly back in 60's all black and white and non hi-fi sound. Basically Pop TV was TOTPs, JUKE BOX JURY and RSG. That was it as far as I can remember except pop stars appearing on kids tv progs like Crackerjack. RSG was more free and easy going style than the others and a real alternative to BBC styling (no offence taken I hope folks)and a great start to the weekend. My parents didn't like it which was a great indication of something good at the time.

ian candler
I was only 8 when the show finished but I had watched avidly for as long as I can remember (having a young uncle who loved music helped) I will never forget the program or cathy who has the distinction of being the first girl I ever fell in love with.

Irene Salt, Pinner
My mum went to the Ready Steady Go studio every week whenever she could get away with it! I recently bought her a dvd of its "best bits" for christmas and there she was!! Miming to "Can't buy me love" with 3 other contestants in the most amazing clothes with a perfect beehive! It was a brilliant christmas present. She is still best friends with the gang of girls that she used to go with and they regularly talk about their adventures at "Ready Steady Go"!

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