ABBA UK TV roundup

ABBA and ABBA related televisual delights (or not!) have featured or are about to feature on UK TV:

I Know Him So Well comic version released to raise money for charity

The charity single reached #11

Worldwide superstar and huge Elaine Paige fan Susan Boyle teamed up with Peter Kay’s alter ego, Irish sex-change singer Geraldine McQueen to record Benny, Björn and Tim Rice’s I Know Him So Well from CHESS for the UK charity Comic Relief.

In addition, a carefully constructed music video which mimicked the original was made and was first broadcast during the television appeal show on 18 March.

As the evening drew to a close £74,360,207 had been raised which is the highest total reached on the night in Red Nose Day’s 23 year history.

The single entered the UK charts at number 11 last week but has plummeted to 34 this week despite the fact that there is a Freemasons’ Elektro-Funky-Grimestep-Balkan-Garagesale-Wobble-Nu-Bleep-Disco-Club-Mix-Dub remix also available for download. Yes, really!

Top of the Pops – a glimpse back in time

BBC Four - ABBA on Top of the Pops

BBC4 are broadcasting a series of four programmes about the legendary pop programme Top Of The Pops (TOTP) which may be of interest to fans. Especially the first three, which feature ABBA.

Waterloo (live) in Big Hits, The Story of 1976 which is a pivotal year in ABBA UK history and there is also a two-minute slot from 20’40” which includes a live performance of Mamma Mia.

The third programme is the edition of Top of the Pops when Fernando entered the UK charts. Part of the video is shown and it is announced that ABBA will appear live next week. That edition will be shown on BBC Four due to the channel showing every edition of TOTP from 1976 on a weekly basis.

The shows first featured on BBC Four last Friday are available to watch on the BBC’s iPlayer service for around a week after broadcast OR you can catch the repeats on Thursday 7 April.

Mamma Mia! movie UK network TV première

9 April - Mamma Mia! UK network TV première

Yes, of course it’s already been on satellite and cable but Saturday 9 April sees Mamma Mia! on a UK free to air channel for the first time. ITV1 and ITV1 HD are showing the film at 1900.

The movie, of course, stars Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgård, Julie Walters, Christine Baranski and Dominic Cooper and features cameo appearances by both Benny and Björn.

The Nation’s Favourite ABBA Song

Ahead of the Mamma Mia! movie showing, also on ITV1 on Saturday 9 April (1630) is a repeat of the programme that featured new interviews with Björn and Frida as they discussed the tracks that make up the UK’s Top 25 ABBA songs.

If you missed it on 5 December 2010, now you get a second chance!

And if that wasn’t enough, ABBA: the Mamma Mia! story is repeated on ITV1 on Sunday 10 April at 1535.

Related links:


  • And in addition to all that – “The Nation’s Favourite ABBA Song” is also being repeated – ITV1, Saturday 9th at 16:30, as a precursor to the screening of “Mamma Mia!”

  • Thanks Chris! Ha! I missed that one entirely – now added to the article.

  • I was wondering when Mamma Mia! would be on TV, I was guessing Easter but this week will do fine.

    The first thing to be said about the Susan Boyle and Peter Kay chart position is that the in-store sales will almost certainly have put it at number one in my opinion, but the massive difference between in-store sales and downloads dragged it down to number 11, which isn’t a bad position anyway as it’s higher than the original release of One Night In Bangkok in the 1980s which made number 12.

    Also the pop charts are now less varied than they used to be, and some unofficial charts ridiculously don’t even count in-store CD sales so Susan Boyle and Peter Kay version of I Know Him So Well actually did very well.

  • Thanks Ice. Happy birthday to Agnetha yesterday 5th April!!

  • ‘One Night In Bangkok’, by Murray Head, was a far bigger UK Hit, than the Susan Boyle/Peter Kay Single. It Peaked at No.12, but was Top 20 for 7 Weeks, & Top 30 for 9 Weeks.

    The Positions of ‘I Know Him So Well’, are nowhere near as good – 11 – 34. (The Peter Kay/Susan Boyle Single has been the No.1 CD Seller in the UK, for 3 Weeks. But such sales are low, as most stores do not stock CDs).

    And ‘In-Store’ Charts do not count. Only The OCC Chart matters in the UK – The Official Charts Company.

    Out of 20 ‘Comic Relief’ Charity Singles, ‘I Know Him So Well’, is the first to fail to reach the Top 10. 12 of them were No.1 Hits.

    The ABBA/ABBA Related UK ITV1 showings, have caused the Sales of ‘Gold’ to rise again. It is currently at No.141 in the UK Top 200. Only the Top 75 counts, & it needs just 2 more
    Top 75 Weeks, to give it 441 Weeks, & it becomes a Chart Record Breaker. It will need about 2,500 to 3,000 Sales, to reach the Top 75 again. I’m not sure if it will do it in today’s
    UK Album Chart – due to be published at 7pm. The sales period ended at Midnight last night.

    The TV Shows may have got it 2,500 to 3,000 extra sales, by midnight – we will see…

  • Colin

    All music stores do stock CDs, (I don’t know what you mean by that) what else are they going to sell? And it missed the top 10 by just one place!

    The in-store sales must have been absolutely massive to achieve this as the download sales were so low. I got my copy from the HMV shop as I don’t download music.

    Yes One Night In Bangkok was in the charts for longer but I pointed out the singles charts now are a different animal.

    I’m still amazed a song from Chess nearly made the top 10. In 2011!

  • Michael – when I said that most UK Music Stores do not stock CD’s,
    it was obvious that I meant CD Singles. It is a 100% fact. Of course
    they all stock CD Albums. I missed the word ‘Singles’ out.

    The Peter Kay/Susan Boyle Single is still the No.1 CD Single
    in the UK – for the 4th Week. But, Sales are tiny. It has sold about
    50,000 UK copies. (The 1985 original sold over 820,000).

    By the way, the original version of ‘I Know Him So Well’, is the
    last time that Benny & Bjorn had a Top 30 UK Hit with a New Song.
    It has been 26 Years. (Early 1985).

    The OCC counts ALL In-Store Sales in the UK – via Computers.
    It matters not if the Stores themselves ignore the Sales – their
    Tills count them, when people pay for CD’s. (And DVD’s). They
    are then sent – immdiately – to The OCC. I work for them.

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