Pop North - BBC Playhouse Theatre (Hulme)

Long running radio show, hosted in the early days by Gaye Byrne and supported by Bernard Herrmann and the NDO. Although certainly not part of the Manchester beat scene for many bands but as a punter it was an important introduction for many kids to the name bands of the day. With a lower age limit for entry than clubs and free tickets - a great night out.


"Bernard Herrmann took over the NDO in the early 60s, about the same time as he became responsible for the harnessing of the BBC's response to the "Rock and Pop" industry. He did so with great professionalism with shows like "Pop North" and "Here We Go With The NDO", a show in which the Beatles made their radio debut in 1962."

"Great place to go - free!!!  All you had to do was apply for tickets on a regular basis, get on the bus, queue up for a short while, then grab the best seat you could.

Memories are a little hazy but can remember seeing The Applejacks and The Springfields."

Paul (webmaster)

I remember going to Pop North with free tickets they gave to local schools and seeing The Beatles a couple of times there. We were more interested in girls from other schools than the bands unfortunately. I wish I'd listened more.

Other bands I remember playing there were The Merseybeats, Bllly J Kramer and The Dakotas and Gerry and The Pacemakers.

Malc Hancock

I remember appearing at the BBC Theatre in 1966 live with Ken Dodd and the NDO, we were very excited to be performing live at lunch time.  

The Vickers started playing and for some reason I started singing the second verse first and was nearly having a blue fit! I just sang the same verse again and carried on, I hope no one noticed (but they did). I got plenty of stick for a long time after. A good consolation was Ken Dodd taking all of us round the corner to the Pub and and paying for the drinks. Did he pay? Of course he did!

All the best all you old rockers,

Harry Feeney  - Rev Black - 28/4/09

I can remember The Hulme Playhouse..and The NDO " The Band with the Beat thats Reet" the BBC used to record "The Beat Show " there on, I think a Tuesday nite and it went out On Air on a Thursday Lunchtime on The Light programme...free tickets from the BBC box office.

We saw lots of bands there Billy J, Gerry & Pacemakers..etc all for free..great times. 

Derek Alltree - 6/1/10

I remember going to the BBC Playhouse Theatre in the early 60's to watch the recording of the Beat Show on a Tuesday nights. The programme went on the air on a Thursday lunch time. I saw the Springfields several times, with Dusty stood barefoot on a book between the two guys, Clodagh Rogers also appeared.

The programme was hosted by Gaye Byrne, if I remember correctly. Have some fond memories and some good autographs in my old book. Bernard Herman and the NDO provided the music.

Graham Pinder - 1/7/11

My wife Betty used to go here regularly. She got tickets in the early 60s from where she worked at Pugh Davies in Manchester city centre.

She saw The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Cliff Richard and most of the stars of the time, including Joe Brown and Marty Wilde. There was also a place on Parrswood Road in Didsbury, where they also filmed some of the pop shows of the times.but sadly, like the Top of the Pops in Rusholme, they moved all to London. Great days.

Peter Byrne - 4/2/12

What lovely memories, Dave Lee Travis was the DJ/compere when I went. Recorded Monday evening, to be broadcast Thursday lunch.
Feel privileged to have seen most singers and groups from the 60s, fantastic!!

Irene Ollier nee Pollitt - 15/9/12

Pop North - used to LOVE it! Saw The Troggs, Status Quo, Dave Dee and Co in the 1960s. In those days Dave Lee Travis was DJ. It was a great opportunity for fans to 'get near' to their idols. Happy days....

Barbara Hancox - 27/11/12

I was the resident girl singer for a year on Pop North in the 60's, along with Bernard Herman & the NDO, The Mal Craig Three & Johny De Little, the producer was John Wilcox & the presenter was Ray Moore. Fantastic show & wonderfull people to work with.

I went on to record under the names Margie Miller & Etta Thomas, apparently the records are still being played in the Nortern Soul clubs.

Val Francis - 12/1/13

I remember going to a recording of Pop North in Hulme about 1968 or 69 when I worked on Whitworth Street in Manchester.The DJ was Dave Lee Travis and the acts I can remember were PP Arnold singing The First Cut is The Deepest ( Brilliant ) and Georgie Fame singing Bonny and Clyde.

Ed Walton - 21/2/13

I used to live over the road on White Street. I remember seeing the Four Pennies, the Fourmost, Merseybeats, Cat Stevens, Maureen Evans.

The show was usually hosted by Diddy David Hamilton. It was called The Beat Show.

Linda Bramley - 28/11/13


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