Prince Charles on Countdown (1977)

Prince Charles and Ian 'Molly' Meldrum on the set of the ABC's Countdown in 1977.
Title:
Prince Charles on Countdown (1977)
NFSA ID:
553082
Year:
1977
Courtesy:
ABC
Category:
Access fees

This image captures one of the most disastrous, yet charming, moments in the history of Australian television. 

An extremely nervous and painfully awkward Ian 'Molly' Meldrum, interviewing His Royal Highness, Prince Charles on ABC's Countdown during a 1977 tour celebrating the Queen's Silver Jubilee. 

Molly's nerves were evident from the very start. He became tongue-tied on numerous takes while introducing the Royal visitor, and at one point wiped his brow and said, 'Your Royal Highness ... oh, I'm sweating like a pig'. 

Despite breaking for a glass of water and a pep talk from the floor manager, the interview continued on its downward spiral with Molly losing all composure and introducing the young Prince to a few new expletives.

Prince Charles has since described the interview as one he'll never forget. On Countdown's 40th anniversary in 2014, he jokingly reminisced 'Was it really 40 years ago? It only seems like yesterday. I wish it were tomorrow – I'd cancel it!'