By Mark Nobes

"This is Mike Reid, this is not a wig, and this is Runaround". This is a very rare clip of the kids TV game show, of which there were 12 series (100 episodes inc. the Christmas specials) between Sept 1975 and Sept 1981.

The show was based on an American TV show of the same name, but the British version was actually more successful. Gravelly-voiced entertainer Mike Reid (now best-remembered for playing Frank Butcher in the soap Eastenders) hosted the series between 1975 and 1976, and again in 1978-1981, with Leslie Crowther and Stan Boardman hosting between 1977-78.

The series was produced by Southern Television before the franchise went over to Central TV and was renamed Poparound, the reason being that the questions were about pop music. This was hosted by Gary Crowley who now has a two hour Saturday evening radio show on BBC London 94.9, and also fills in for presenters on BBC 6Music. 

Apparently, the master tapes for the majority of the episodes of Runaround were wiped to save costs - absolute sacrilege!
 Clips of the show are now very rare indeed, so be very grateful for the poor quality clips on this page!
Runaround with Mike Reid
Unfortunately, the clip I featured on this page from a Halloween special (in which the star prize is a film projector) has been removed from Youtube. That's a shame, as it was wonderful to see a slice of 70s technology, and I always wanted one of those, although it would've been way out our price league! It also featured the legendary Carry On movie star Charles Hawtrey.
Created by Southern Television, other prizes given away on the show included a cassette recorders, stereo record players and a video games. They were actually better than those featured on Blankety Blank, for sure!

Mike Reid as a stand-up comedian in the 1970s
Mike Reid died on 29th July 2007 aged 57 - RIP.

This Christmas Special is from 1980 and features the band Madness dressed as Santas and performing their No.7 UK hit single "One Step Beyond". Mike also interviews Suggs next to a stuffed Polar Bear!