Ready Steady Go! (RSG) was first broadcast in August 1963, coinciding with the rise of The Beatles in Britain and internationally. As one historian of television reflected in the 1970s, "the revolution had the greatest possible effect on television ... and hindsight commentators were to see the year as a line of demarcation drawn between one kind of Britain and another".
With its slogan, "the weekend starts here", RSG was shown on Fridays from 6 to 7 pm. Its original presenter Keith Fordyce (1928–2011), a stalwart of the BBC Light Programme and Radio Luxembourg, was joined in 1964 by Cathy McGowan. McGowan, recruited as an advisor from 600 applicants, had been in the fashion department of Woman’s Own. She is said to have secured the role in a "run off" with journalist Anne Nightingale, later a disc jockey on Radio 1, by answering "fashion" to a question from Elkan Allan (1922–2006), RSG's executive producer and head of entertainment at Rediffusion, as to whether sex, music or fashion was most important to teenagers.
While McGowan had answered an advert for 'a typical teenager' to work as an advisor, she found herself presenting the show. Her strength was that her status as a fan of the artists was evident in her style; stumbling over her lines, losing her cool and apparent inexperience only made her more popular, and by the end she was presenting the show alone. She may have been the inspiration for Susan Campy from The Beatles' 1964 film A Hard Day's Night, when George Harrison tells the producer of a fictitious teen television show that Campy is "... that posh bird who gets everything wrong", to which the producer played by Kenneth Haigh replies, "She's a trendsetter. It's her profession."
Read more about this topic: Cathy Mc Gowan
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