Saturday, 4 April 2015

Theme Time : Kiki Dee - Opportunity Knocks

As I type the finale of the BBC talent show The Voice is blaring away in the corner of my room in its attempt to find a new vocal star to smash the charts - something the show has struggled to do thus far. With this in mind I thought I'd go back to a time before The Voice, and before the Cash Cow-ell and his odious enterprises too. This Theme Time post goes all the way back to the 80s and the BBC talent show Opportunity Knocks


But of course Opportunity Knocks goes back even further than that. All the way to 1949 when it started its life on the radio as part of the BBC Light Programme hosted by Hughie Green who stayed with programme as its host in all its various guises from radio to ITV until 1978. In that twenty-nine year history, the show discovered, thanks to its audience vote via the legendary Clap-O-Meter, such household names as Freddie Star, Mary Hopkin, Paul Daniels, Su Pollard, Bernie Flint, Bonnie Langford, Little and Large, Frank Carson, Peters and Lee, Pam Ayres, Max Boyce, Lena Zavaroni, Middle of the Road and Les Dawson.

The BBC revived the format in 1987, retitling it Bob Says Opportunity Knocks in reference to it's new host, Bob Monkhouse, who fronted the show for three series up until 1989. In 1990 former winner Les Dawson took to the hosting duties and clap-o-meter management and the show reverted back to being plain Opportunity Knocks. The long running show finally came to a close in June of that year after a staggering 41 year history.

The theme for Opportunity Knocks during its 1980s BBC era was a previously established chart hit that was effectively Kiki Dee's comeback in 1981 and one of her biggest hits; Star, which was written by Doreen Chanter of the 70s group The Chanter Sisters


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