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Cool for Cats

The only known existent edition of this long-running 1950s ITV pop show features songs by Tommy Steele, Paul Anka and Connie Francis.

1958 26 mins Not rated

Director: Brian Taylor


Possibly aimed at older viewers, Cool for Cats seems rather more laid back than other pop shows of the era. Certainly one suspects that presenter Kent Walton preferred what he calls 'true jazz' to 'gimmicky songs and pops'. All the same, this fascinating musical time capsule is full of delights, including a studio performance from Mike Preston and dance routines choreographed by Dougie Squires.

Kent Walton (in his forties when this edition was filmed) doesn't seem much inclined towards teenage tastes in music, and describes Tommy Steele's novelty number 'I Puts the Lightie On', played here with cartoons as visual accompaniment, as 'nonsense'. As this song was the flipside of Steele's Top 20 hit 'The Only Man on the Island', it's a puzzle why the stronger A-side, which might just have held more appeal for Kent, wasn't played instead. Despite its title, Cool for Cats probably wasn't the coolest pop show on television, but it was certainly a long-running one - it was broadcast from 1956 until 1961.