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The Fivepenny Piece on TV

This is a list of TV appearances by The Fivepenny Piece that we have on record. We are very aware that this is not complete, and further information would be gratefully received.

We are particularly interested to find out more details of the band's appearances on BBC's That's Life series, hosted by Esther Rantzen. Also anything about their appearances on Pebble Mill, and the Ken Dodd Show. We are also interested in knowing what songs were performed in each of the TV appearances listed below.


Click here to view The Fivepenny Piece's 1974 performance on The Wheeltappers & Shunters Social Club

Broadcast

Programme Details

Autumn 1968
(date and time unknown)
Granada TV

New Faces

The Fivepenny Piece (under their original name The Wednesday Folk) appeared on this long-running discovery programme and not only were the audience and the viewing public impressed, but their success on the show led to the group being signed to the Noel Gay agency, gaining both a new name and a recording contract with EMI into the bargain. Some of these events were captured on camera and broadcast in the BBC TV show The Persuaders in January 1969 (below).

28th January 1969
Tuesday 18:35- (?*)
BBC1
(*length unknown)

The Persuaders
Producer: John Gau

Filmed in 1968, but broadcast in January 1969 (to coincide with the release of the band's debut single). This was not an episode of the Tony Curtis / Roger Moore series; rather a BBC documentary chronicling the band's rise to fame New Faces and their subsequent grooming for success. It covered the discovery, grooming, and launching in the world of entertainment of a new vocal group. It seems that TV viewers were invited to vote for the group's new name, hence The Wednesday Folk became The Fivepenny Piece. I have seen reference to a programme called Birth Of A Group which may be the same programme or a different one.

July/August 1971
(date unknown)
Friday 21:20 - 21:50
BBC2

Get The Drift

John Meeks mentioned the group's appearance on this show on the live LP On Stage (released in October 1974). The BBC Guide To Comedy describes this six-part series as 'mild and bitter humour from the north of England' featuring 'monologues, skits and comical songs', and starring Henry Livings, Alex Glasgow (composer of Keep Yer 'An On Yer 'Alfpenny), Roy Kinear and Bernard Cribbins.

The BBC site makes no mention of Fivepenny Piece appearing on this show, so I assume they made an appearance as guest artists on one of the shows. The shows were broadcast on Friday nights from 23rd July to 27th August. There was a second series of the show in 1976, but as this was after John Meeks' reference to it, we must assume the first series was the one they appeared in. John's claim on the On Stage LP is that they wrote the song Tell Us It Ain't So for the programme - if so, it seems an unlikely choice as it isn't a comic song.

17th February 1973

The Val Doonigan Show

The Fivepenny Piece were guests along with Basil Brush, Patricia Carroll and Mike Newman

25th May 1974
Saturday 21:30-22:00
Granada

The Wheeltappers & Shunters Social Club
first series, episode 7

Producer: Johnnie Hamp

The Fivepenny Piece guested on this popular entertainment series featuring Bernard Manning and Colin Crompton, among other comedians. This show also included the US singer Gene Pitney as star guest, as well as singer Eve Boswell and pianist Mrs Mills.

Fivepenny Piece performed I Don't Know If I Wanna Go Home - you can see the clip on YouTube (as uploaded by 5PP fan Martin Maguire)

12th May 1975

The David Nixon Show

The Fivepenny Piece were guests along with Great Kovari, Little and Large and Janet Brown

4th January 1976

That's Life

The Fivepenny Piece made several appearances on the popular BBC TV series hosted by Esther Rantzen. They were the musical guest on every second week; alternating with comedian/singer Victoria Wood.

Does anyone have any details of what songs they sang, etc.?

1st February 1976

That's Life

The Fivepenny Piece made several appearances on the popular BBC TV series hosted by Esther Rantzen. They were the musical guest on every second week; alternating with comedian/singer Victoria Wood.

Does anyone have any details of what songs they sang, etc.?

15th February 1976

That's Life

The Fivepenny Piece made several appearances on the popular BBC TV series hosted by Esther Rantzen. They were the musical guest on every second week; alternating with comedian/singer Victoria Wood.

Does anyone have any details of what songs they sang, etc.?

29th February 1976

That's Life

The Fivepenny Piece made several appearances on the popular BBC TV series hosted by Esther Rantzen. They were the musical guest on every second week; alternating with comedian/singer Victoria Wood.

Does anyone have any details of what songs they sang, etc.?

14th March 1976

That's Life

The Fivepenny Piece made several appearances on the popular BBC TV series hosted by Esther Rantzen. They were the musical guest on every second week; alternating with comedian/singer Victoria Wood.

Does anyone have any details of what songs they sang, etc.?

28th March 1976

That's Life

The Fivepenny Piece made several appearances on the popular BBC TV series hosted by Esther Rantzen. They were the musical guest on every second week; alternating with comedian/singer Victoria Wood.

Does anyone have any details of what songs they sang, etc.?

11th April 1976

That's Life

The Fivepenny Piece made several appearances on the popular BBC TV series hosted by Esther Rantzen. They were the musical guest on every second week; alternating with comedian/singer Victoria Wood.

Does anyone have any details of what songs they sang, etc.?

25th April 1976

That's Life

The Fivepenny Piece made several appearances on the popular BBC TV series hosted by Esther Rantzen. They were the musical guest on every second week; alternating with comedian/singer Victoria Wood.

Does anyone have any details of what songs they sang, etc.?

9th May 1976

That's Life

The Fivepenny Piece made several appearances on the popular BBC TV series hosted by Esther Rantzen. They were the musical guest on every second week; alternating with comedian/singer Victoria Wood.

Does anyone have any details of what songs they sang, etc.?

8th March 1976
Friday 21:00-21:30
BBC2

Repeated on BBC on 21st Decwmber 1977 at 19:05, and 27th June 1977: 23:05

 

The Camera & The Song
Producer: John Bird

This acclaimed 13 episode series blended documentary programmes about different parts of the country with appropriate music from contemporary singers and songwriters. Some superb artists took part including Alex Glasgow (in his native Newcastle Upon Tyne); Jeremy Taylor (with his homage to Blackpool); as well as Ralph McTell, Max Boyce, Jake Thackray, Tír na nÓg and Harvey Andrews.

This episode, the first of the series, featured songs of The Fivepenny Piece linked with beautiful Lancashire brass band music and specially recorded Fivepenny Piece links. The songs included were Brown Photographs (a couple of lines of this were sung as links in between the other songs, in a similar way to the King Cotton album), Stalybridge Station, Mountain Climber, Down Our Street, King Cotton, Cum To Your Tea, They Tell Us Owt, Tuppence Change and Winter Sun.

The Songs of The Fivepenny Piece: Come To Your Tea
Memories - some tears and some laughing. When he comes to tea, it's almost as good as an engagement ring for a Lancashire lass. Lancashire? Yes, but Yorkshire's dun the road, Cheshire across the street and Derbyshire at the bottom of the road. It was one of the best ways of fusing music and television we have seen. It gave a new dimension to the pop world.
(Daily Express 1976)

Mountain Climber was included at the Fivepenny Piece track on the The Camera & The Song compilation album of the series.

Saturday 14th August 1976
BBC1

 

Summertime Special

Seaside Special was a BBC light entertainment television program in the 1970s. It was an outside broadcast and was always filmed in a big top in a British seaside resort - in this case Torbay in Devon.

Guests included Vince Hill, Roger De Courcey and Nookie the Bear, Patton Brothers, Fivepenny Piece, Jodie Grey, Alan Stewart, Peters and Lee, and New Edition.

Does anyone have any details of what song they sang?

20th March 1977

That's Life

The Fivepenny Piece made several appearances on the popular BBC TV series hosted by Esther Rantzen. This seems to be from a different series than the previous series.

Does anyone have any details of what songs they sang, etc.?

11th April 1977
Monday 22:35-23:25
BBC2

Fivepenny Piece & Mike Harding
Produced by Barry Bevins.

A special 50-minute show recorded at the Poco-a-Poco Theatre, Stockport. The Fivepenny Piece were teamed with the then up-and-coming folk singer/comedian Mike Harding for this one-off special. The success of this show led to the following year's series MH & 5p (see below).

Songs performed: Where There's Muck There's Brass (5PP), What Is It All About? (poem) (MH), King Cotton (5PP), Irwell Delta Blues (MH), They Tell Us Owt (5PP), Napoleon's Retreat From Wigan (MH), Sail Away, Tin Soldier Friend (5PP), The Bogey Man (MH), Armchair Athlete (5PP), A Sailor Courted A Farmer's Daughter (MH), Watercolour Morning (5PP), Talking Blackpool Blues (MH) and Ee By Gum (5PP)

2nd June 1977
Thursday
(time unknown)
Granada

Fivepenny Piece At The Wheeltappers - A special 25-minute show featuring the band at the Wheeltappers & Shunters Social Club.

A special 25-minute show featuring The Fivepenny Piece performing their songs at the Wheeltappers & Shunters Social Club, broadcast after the famous series had finished (it ended in 1976).

Songs performed: Where There's Muck There's Brass, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10, Watercolour Morning, Keep Yer 'And On Yer 'Alfpenny, Our Bill & The Concrete Mixer and Down At Our School

9th April 1978
Sunday (time unknown)
BBC2

Fivepenny Piece with Mike Harding - Music & Humour

Repeat broadcast of the show from 11th April 1977 (see above for details).

9th June 1978
Friday 21:00-21:30
BBC2

MH & 5p episode 1
Produced by Barry Bevins.

First of a six-part series featuring The Fivepenny Piece with Mike Harding. Recorded at the Poco-a-Poco Theatre, Stockport.
Not sure which episode it was broadcast on, but here is a clip from the show of the band performing Weigh Watchers.

16th June 1978
Friday 21:00-21:30
BBC2

MH & 5p episode 2
Produced by Barry Bevins.

Second of a six-part series featuring The Fivepenny Piece with Mike Harding. Recorded at the Poco-a-Poco Theatre, Stockport.

23rd June 1978
Friday 21:00-21:30
BBC2

MH & 5p episode 3
Produced by Barry Bevins.

Third of a six-part series featuring The Fivepenny Piece with Mike Harding.
Recorded at the Poco-a-Poco Theatre, Stockport.

30th June 1978
Friday 21:00-21:30
BBC2

MH & 5p episode 4
Produced by Barry Bevins.

Fourth of a six-part series featuring The Fivepenny Piece with Mike Harding. Recorded at the Poco-a-Poco Theatre, Stockport. Produced by Barry Bevins.

7th July 1978
Friday 21:00-21:30
BBC2

MH & 5p episode 5
Produced by Barry Bevins.

Fifth of a six-part series featuring The Fivepenny Piece with Mike Harding. Recorded at the Poco-a-Poco Theatre, Stockport.

14th July 1978
Friday 21:00-21:30
BBC2

MH & 5p episode 6
Produced by Barry Bevins.

Last of a six-part series featuring The Fivepenny Piece with Mike Harding. Recorded at the Poco-a-Poco Theatre, Stockport.

The success of this series led to The Fivepenny Piece and Mike Harding each being given their own separate BBC TV series (see below for details of the Fivepenny Piece series).

23rd August 1978
BBC2

Rhythm On 2 featuring Fivepenny Piece with guests The Oldham Tinkers
Director: Rick Gardner

In concert performance by Fivepenny Piece and The Oldham Tinkers. Recorded at Bredbury Hall, Stockport. The songs performed were as follows: I'm Henpecked (5PP), Stalybridge Station (5PP), Cum To Your Tea (5PP), City of Manchester (5PP), John Willie's Ferret (OT), Oldham's Burning Sands (OT), Brown Photographs (5PP), Our Sarah's Getten A Chap (5PP) and Lancashire, My Lancashire (5PP)

23rd December 1978
Saturday 21:10-21:50
BBC2

Christmas With Mike Harding & The Fivepenny Piece
Produced by Barry Bevins.

40-minute Christmas special programme which once again teamed The Fivepenny Piece with comedian/folk singer Mike Harding. Recorded at the Poco-a-Poco Theatre, Stockport.

4th May 1979
Friday 21:00-21:30
BBC2

The Fivepenny Piece Show episode 1
Produced by Barry Bevins.

First of a series of four programmes featuring The Fivepenny Piece, with a different guest artist each week. This week's guest artist was London folk singer/comedian Derek Brimstone.

11th May 1979
Friday 21:00-21:30
BBC2

The Fivepenny Piece Show episode 2
Produced by Barry Bevins.

Second of a series of four programmes featuring The Fivepenny Piece, with a different guest artist each week. This week's guest artist was explosive comic Blaster Bates.

18th May 1979
Friday 21:00-21:30
BBC2

The Fivepenny Piece Show episode 3
Produced by Barry Bevins.
Third of a series of four programmes featuring The Fivepenny Piece, with a different guest artist each week.
This week's guest artist was Lancashire folk singer/comedian Bernard Wrigley (who later joined the band in 1995). In a conversation with Paul Gunningham, Bernard claims to have sang two songs on the show - Vasectomy and Nelly The Elephant; however his own website now claims that he sang Buggerlugs Loves Sugarbunny (freshly written) [as seen on YouTube], Nelly The Elephant and The Girl From Ipanema before joining The Fivepenny Piece for a rendition of Big Jim.

25th May 1979
Friday 21:00-21:30
BBC2

The Fivepenny Piece Show episode 4
Produced by Barry Bevins.

Last of a series of four programmes featuring The Fivepenny Piece, with a different guest artist each week. This week's guest artist was Bristolian folk singer/comedian Fred Wedlock.

14 Sep 1980

repeated on BBC 2, at 2.10pm on 29 July 1981

A Musical Railway Celebration
Produced by Barry Bevins.
Musical Arranger: Pete Lingwood

A celebration of the 150th anniversary of the first steam hauled passenger service in the world, between Manchester and Liverpool, with music and some history as the train travels along the 32 miles of track to Liverpool.

Synopsis: "A little over 150 years ago, on 15 September 1830, a single gunshot sent eight trains off on a 30-mile journey from Liverpool to Manchester. This was opening day for the world's first passenger rail service. Popular group Fivepenny Piece joined autumn celebrations at the oldest surviving passenger railway station - the Manchester Terminus of Stephenson's Great Railway Experiment.
Colin Welland tells the story and Fivepenny Piece sing the songs to celebrate The Birth of the Railway Age.
"

Fivepenny Piece credited with 'music performance' and 'music arrangement'. Not sure if this was a live performance or just provision of the soundtrack. "Unofficial sixth member of the band", Phil Barlow was credited with 'drums' on the show.


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