Countdown co-creator Robbie Weekes has passed away, his son Stephen has confirmed with Noise11.com.
Robbie created Countdown with producer Michael Shrimpton in 1974. The pair took the creative decision to hire music writer and record producer Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum to host the show and Australian television history was created.
In the recent miniseries Molly actor T.J,. Power played the part of Molly and acted out the exact moment the Countdown ‘Big Bang’ happened.
Countdown first aired on 8 November 1974 just four months before the start of colour television in Australia. Countdown was the first TV show in the world to use the music video as its core content. That meant Australians were funnelled into a similar music experience absorbing new music via the show. It meant Countdown controlled the music chart.
Countdown was powerful. Madonna, John Mellencamp, ABBA, Blondie, Boz Scaggs and Cyndi Lauper all achieved their first international success in Australia because of the show. Weekes, Shrimpton and Meldrum had created a hit machine.
While Weekes directed Countdown from 1974 to 187 he was also involved in the television coverage of the Commonwealth Games in 1982 and 1986. He was also devoted to developed children’s programs focused on healthy eating and exercise.
Robbie Weekes was awarded the Order of Australia in 2016. Weekes received the royal acknowledgement for his work in broadcast and television.