Ready Steady Go!

Cathy McGowan • Television House • Kingsway, London • October 1963



Twenty-year-old Cathy McGowan, captured outside Television House in Kingsway, headquarters of Associated-Rediffusion and the location of Studio 9, original home of Ready Steady Go!

Photo taken at the time of Associated-Rediffusion's announcement of McGowan and Michael Aldred as 'Teenage Advisors' on RSG!, late-October, 1963.





The Story

"I, Cathy McGowan, star on a British television show called Ready Steady Go! As such, I am the arbiter of the current craze in fad-happy England — the Mod craze. The authentic female Mod teenager uses no lipstick, applies a great deal of eye makeup, and wears straight hair. Mod clothes generally consist of tight sleeves, crepe shirts, ankle-length skirts, white stockings, and granny shoes. Musically speaking, The Beatles and The Dave Clark Five are definitely Mod. Although I am no longer a teenager, whatever I do and whatever I say automatically becomes Mod law. I am known as the 'Queen Mod.'

Signed, Cathy McGowan" — featured contestant introduction, CBS's To Tell The Truth, March 23, 1964, New York, New York

"(Cathy) was awfully gauche and raw and desperately nervous, but she was worth taking on because she was obviously terribly switched on in a teenage way."Elkan Alan, producer and creator of Ready Steady Go!

"(Elkan Allan) asked me to talk about myself. When I came out, I thought: 'My God, I've made a right fool of myself. Pop music and fashion! I should have talked about more intelligent things'... "I thought 'that's it.' So I went back to the office. Luckily I did because at five o' clock they phoned and said they wanted me for a camera test... I'm normally shy and nervous so you can imagine what I was like in front of a camera..."Cathy McGowan

"Someone had done a shortlist and narrowed it down to about 10 people and they went from (creator/producer) Elkan or (editor)Francis (Hiching) to me or whatever the order was. I remember my notes on Cathy were this girl obviously knows a lot about the pop world but she'll need help with the camera."Robert Fleming, director of Ready Steady Go!

"The best-known presenter was Cathy McGowan. Like Sandy Sarjeant, she was a rare thing: a genuine Mod girl, who 'dressed to the letter', to re-use my phrase from Quadrophenia.Pete Townshend

Photographer unconfirmed

The Process

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