24 Sep 2015
Remember Superstars?
“Random childhood telly memories, no.426”

Apropos of nothing, other than the usual random thought, flitting unbidden across my vacant skull;

Does anyone remember the TV series Superstars from the 1970s?

Even the titles oozed seventies grooviness!

It was hosted by Ron Pickering and took the form of a contest wherein a variety of well-known sportsmen would compete against each other in a series of athletic challenges. I think it must have had some kind of tournament structure, as I seem to remember that the winners each week went through to the next round and there was some kind of final at the end. I could be wrong though. It was a long time ago and even IMDB’s entry on the series is pretty barebones and minimalist. Maybe as a nation we have banished all recollection of those terrible perms and 'budgie-smuggler' shorts from our collective memory?

And, speaking of memory, although Superstars ran for five seasons [again, according to IMDB], I only have three recollections of the entire series, which are strangely etched on my mind. They are:

Malcolm MacDonald [Newcastle United striker] –running the 100m sprint at a blistering time that was almost Olympic standard.

Malcolm MacDonald [image credit: chroniclelive.co.uk]

Kevin Keegan [I think he was still at Liverpool then] –coming a cropper in the bike race and getting a big, bloody gravel rash all down his leg [The perils of 'budgie-smuggler' shorts!]

Kevin Keegan coming a cropper [image credit: dailymail.co.uk]

Brian Jacks [I think he was a Judo player] – in the gym exercises, absolutely hammering everyone at dips on the parallel bars].

Brian Jacks dipping like a steam-hammer [image credit: telegraph.co.uk]

No matter how hard I rack what’s left of my brains, those are the only memories I have of the series at all. Weird isn’t it? For whatever reason, those three incidents obviously seared themselves onto a braincell when I watched them as a wee laddie. And the fact that I was readily able to find pictures of two out of the three on the intarwebs suggests that at least some other folks were likewise imprinted. [But why no piccies of Malcolm MacDonald thundering down the track? –Maybe he was so damned fast no-one could get their camera raised in time]

So, anyone else of my vintage remember the series and, if so, what are your classic moments?

FINAL ASIDE: Can you imagine any of the poncey, overpaid 'superstars' of today risking life and limb [well, limb anyway] to take part in some run-of-the-mill TV show like this?

Load of pampered prima donnas!

mutter…​ mutter…​ when men were men…​ mutter mutter…​ Bovril and a pie at half-time…​ mutter…​ mutter…​ etc.

Back to Top