At the bottom of my last post I briefly mentioned an appearance I made on Noel Edmond's Multicoloured Swap Shop ... best forgotten I think, but as with all memories it produced lots more ...
It was November 1977, I was 16, fresh out of school and I was working at our local shipbuilding company, as a trainee shorthand-typist. In a small town like ours, Swap Shop coming to visit was a BIG event! My Dad had arranged with a friend of his that she would take my younger sister and brother along with her children ... he suggested to me that I go along too to help, as there would probably be crowds.
I got in touch with my friend Anne and arranged to meet her at the football ground where it was being held. The lady collected us, I met my friend and promptly forgot about my siblings as I was carried away with the excitement of it all.
I was wearing my new coat ... my pride of joy ... bought from Grattan's catalogue on the never-never ... a bright blue blanket coat, designed by the great Lee Bender from Bus Stop ... I was a real bobby dazzler in that! It was very voluminous, as you can see from the picture (I was over the moon to find an image of the very coat on Google - thank you very much) had a tie neck and then a rather fetching matching scarf. I do remember the wind used to blow up it and cause it to billow out, rather like a ship in full sail. The bell sleeves were a tad draughty too.
|Posed by models - not me haha|
I had lots of other clothes from Bus Stop as I ran the Grattan catalogue ... my friend Sharon ran Freeman's and we made sure we never paid the money in on the same week ... so we could borrow out of each others! We were paid every Thursday but never had any money left after the weekend so it came in very handy.
Anyway, I'm going off on a tangent ... I met my friend and we somehow ended up on stage with Patsy Gallant (From LA to New York, remember?) after she'd done her number ... we were chatting to Cheggers and gave him a peck on the cheek (swoon!) and were getting quite dirty looks from Patsy for hogging the stage. Cheggers asked us what we were swapping and I had a David Cassidy LP and Anne a Donny Osmond one ... he asked what did we want to swap it for. I said loudly into the microphone, "I'll swap it with Kath over there, for that Diana Ross LP". Kath was loathe to swap her sophisticated LP for my teenybopper one, but wanted to be on telly so joined us on the stage. At this point Cheggers had his head in his hands as we weren't really meant to know each other, and we were on air when I was loud. In voice as well as clothes.
We were quickly scuttled off the stage and to this day I have never seen a recording ... it was one of the editions of the programme that was mysteriously lost at the BBC. I wonder why.
I was reunited with my sister and brother who were looking daggers at me;
- for leaving them with strangers
- for hogging the limelight on what was actually a children's programme
- for wearing such an ostentatious garment
- for making a show of them
We went home and my Dad, never one to show a great deal of emotion, said "I was doing the hoovering, looked up and saw you and that daft Anne on the telly. Why weren't H & K with you?"
It was my fifteen minutes of fame ... I went out that night and everyone was pointing at me ... envious perhaps of my suave appearance on national tv ... or perhaps incredulous that I had dared wear that coat again. I'll probably never know ...
I'd love to know about your claim to fame, and hope you're having an amazing, multi-coloured weekend!
Love Claire xxx