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ABC to air two part Countdown Anniversary Special Documentary

NewsKevin Perry
Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum image - supplied/ABC  

Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum
image - supplied/ABC


Celebrating the 40th anniversary of iconic Australian music television program COUNTDOWN, is this two part documentary to air on Sunday the 16th and 23rd of November.

COUNTDOWN influenced a generation and kick-started the careers of some of the world’s greatest musical artists

Originally intended as an 8 x 30 min show,  Countdown went on to become a flagship ABC program with a presenter like no other. The producers certainly got more than they bargained for with Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum.

Meldrum’s enthusiasm shot through television sets all over the country in a way Australians had never seen before. The production values and Meldrum’s ability to spot a hit meant COUNTDOWN was quickly able to establish a stable of local stars. John Paul Young, Skyhooks, Sherbet, John Farnham, Marcia Hines and AC/DC were all regular artists who benefitted.

Molly could hear a hit at 20 paces. They occasionally made decisions having far-reaching consequences. Forcing ABBA to release Mamma Mia was a major breakthrough never forgotten and friendships were made with artists such as Rod Stewart, Elton John and KISS.

A new generation in the Australian suburbs was quietly discovering its sexuality. And via an unprecedented performance by Iggy Pop in 1979, some of them even discovered punk. 

Julia Zemiro image - supplied/ABC

Julia Zemiro
image - supplied/ABC

Hosted by Julia Zemiro this special will take viewers on a journey of discovery with the story of COUNTDOWN. Backed by a stellar cast of stars and with original footage and music, this is a program which brings the music of the 70’s and 80’s alive. The first episode is focused on 1974-1980 while the second is 1980-1987.

And to celebrate the special a 2CD anthology Countdown 40th Anniversary will be released on November 7