Filmed: late January 1976
Location: Munich, West Germany
Broadcast: 28 February 1976
Release status: This programme has not been included on any officially released video or DVD
Duration: 43:04 (whole programme)
Shown in: Germany
Disco was a pop music program that aired in Germany on the ZDF network from 1971 to 1982. It generally aired on the first Saturday of each month at 19:30, each show running 45 minutes. 133 shows were produced. The show was hosted by German actor and comedian Ilja Richter. The show focussed on chart hits current at the time of airing, giving about equal airtime to international pop music and German Schlager. Despite its name, it did not particularly focus on disco music although it featured many disco hits as long as they were chart relevant. (The name of the show was devised before disco as a musical style existed).
During the opening credits you had short look into Agnetha's dressing room and being made up. In fact you can see in the background some moving footage of the rehearsal performance of Mamma Mia. You see a brief camera pan of the mixing desk with several TV monitors on the wall. In one of the TV monitors, you can see Frida wearing a scarf over her head.
ABBA were subjected to one of the most humiliating TV appearances ever by being made to march around the TV studio with the host and other guests clapping as they go - although I cannot see The Bay City Rollers nor Leo Sayer taking part in the humiliation!
Björn and Agnetha come across as embarrassed by this spectacle while Benny and Frida get into the spirit of it and have a laugh, especially as they walk 'as one' with John Richardson, drummer from The Rubettes. At one point when they think the worst is over, they stop and then have to sway backwards and forwards. The host grabs one of Agnetha's arms and Björn grabs the other and she is pulled in both directions with her arms nearly pulled out of their sockets! All she can do is laugh. There's one more march around the studio before they are allowed onto the stage for their performance of Mamma Mia when they regain all their dignity. Apparently this show was broadcast during the German "Carnival Season" hence the whole clapping/shlager thing. The song being sung as they marched around the studio was sung by German singer Tony Marshall and was Vom Hofbräuhaus zur Reeperbahn.
The annoying person in the white wearing an "comedy apron" and climbing on the set and generally showing off was John Richardson, drummer of The Rubettes.
The programme was hosted as always by Ilja Richter.
Other guests on the show:
Lyrics available on the Official ABBA site
Thanks to Alex Jones, Ronny, Jun Seo, Neil Patridge, Wolfgang Erkans, Jozsef, Ronald, Sam Shervz, Lendy, Petr Mlejnek, Jos Heselmans and Intermezzo Magazine for information.
YouTube links c/o Peters Schlagerbox and fritz51347