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!
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:

  1. 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]
    Malcolm MacDonald [image credit: chroniclelive.co.uk]
  2. 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]
    Kevin Keegan coming a cropper [image credit: dailymail.co.uk]
  3. 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]
    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.

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