TV, Vintage Video — October 6, 2010 at 7:20 am

Vintage Video: Morrissey appears on the BBC’s ‘Pop Quiz’ game show on May 26, 1984

Morrissey on 'Pop Quiz'

On May 26, 1984 — just three months after the release of The Smiths — a young and occasionally smiling Morrissey appeared on the BBC TV game show “Pop Quiz,” which pitted two teams of musicians against each other in a battle of musical knowledge hosted by a ridiculously attired DJ named Mike Read.

In this half-hour episode — which can be seen in its entirety via the two clips posted below, uploaded just last month by YouTube user Slane717 — Morrissey, “Kids in America” singer Kim Wilde and singer/stage actor Alvin Stardust are pitted against Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott, Kajagoogoo’s Nick Beggs and Derek Forbes of Simple Minds.

Although Moz’s team — spoiler alert! — loses in the end, the Smiths frontman does pretty well, quickly ID’ing a clip of Echo & The Bunnymen’s “The Killing Moon,” recognizing Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walking” from a snippet of the song’s lyrics, and reeling off some of ’50s pop star Billy Fury’s Top 10 hits. (He did, however, get beat by the guy from Kajagoogoo on two questions about The Cure.)

In typical fashion, though, it wasn’t long before Morrissey regretted appearing on the show. In an interview with The Face published in July 1984, Moz said, “‘Pop Quiz’ was unbearable. I realized it was a terrible mistake the moment the cameras began to roll. … I just squirmed through the program. I went back to my dressing room afterwards and virtually felt like breaking down, it had been so pointless. I felt I’d been gagged.”

Watch Morrissey’s appearance on ‘Pop Quiz’ after the jump…



  1. Wow! This is great.

  2. Excellent. You know, reruns of this would work as programming today (in the UK that is).

  3. Tricia Powers

    Wow, this is priceless! Thanks so much for posting. All kitschyness aside, what is so amazing about this kind of video is that it is a snapshot of the state of pop music, particularly Britpop, in the early 1980’s. The short clip of David Sylvian from Japan totally did it for me. :) And while I had to take a peek because I am a Morrissey fan, it was interesting to see the other players…like Phil Lynott, what a treat! Of course, it’s no surprise that Moz would want to bury this part of his history, but the other contestants showed some real smarts – go Nick Beggs – or were generally just good sports. I agree with Addison that if this could be rerun on a retro video music channel anywhere in the world, it just might be a cult hit. Truly a blast from the past! :)

  4. why have you closed your account?????

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