The Beatles appeared twice on the programme. Their first appearance, before they were hugely famous, was on 8 January 1963 following their five-date tour of Scotland which finished-up at Aberdeen's Beach Ballroom two nights earlier. They appeared live on the programme, which was broadcast from 5.00 to 5.55pm, miming to their second single, Please, Please Me, which was due for release three days later. Scottish Television's sound recordist, Len Southam, who spun the 45 rpm record that the Beatles brought with them, recalled that the reason they mimed to the record was because it was much more difficult to mix the music live — and the studio did not have a recording facility at this time.
The band's second visit to the Scottish Television studio was just over a year later, on Thursday 30 April 1964, by which time they were hugely successful. Paul Young later recalled it was "absolute bedlam" outside the Theatre Royal as thousands of young people gathered to catch a glimpse of their idols:
I think police leave was cancelled. I know that STV, the guys that were running the studio, they had hoses out ready to use in case they were needed. But The Beatles did actually manage to slip out of a back door into a chauffeur-driven car and get away. But I think it was actually on the television news that night that 'STV studios surrounded by delirious Beatles fans as they appear on Roundup'. Gosh, I was part of that — quite thrilling.
By this time Scottish had a recording facility and a nine-minute interview was recorded for the following week's programme. In an effort by the programme director to keep the interview casual, Young interviewed George and Ringo on the studio floor, while John and Paul were interviewed by Morag Hood sitting on chairs. Having Lennon and McCartney together gave Hood an opportunity to ask them about their songwriting partnership. The interview was broadcast the following Tuesday, 5 May 1964. This was something the Evening Times' television critic was perhaps unaware of, as he wrote the following on the day of the recording:
I was surprised that STV, with the fab four on the premises in the afternoon, did not offer more of them in Here and Now. It was left to BBC's Six Ten to stage the only interview, carried through at Callander to a background of shrieks as loud as would be heard anywhere.
The Roundup interview was not kept in the STV archives, but a tele-cine recording of it surfaced some 44 years later in 1998 when film buff Richard Jeffs found it stacked among 64 unmarked film cans in a South London garage. Using the scribbled label found inside the rusted can, Jeffs managed to decipher the names of the two presenters who fronted the interview. It is now stored safely in a professional archive in Milton Keynes, where temperature and humidity are carefully controlled. Thought to be the earliest surviving long-form British studio interview with the band, it was broadcast again, for the first time in 44 years, in a special BBC Radio 4 programme, The Lost Beatles Interview, on Tuesday 1 July 2009. This programme also featured an interview with Paul Young in which he revealed he had taken some of his own video footage. The tele-cine recording has since appeared on YouTube.
Lulu's TV break
In her autobiography, Lulu: I Don't Want to Fight, the Scottish singer credits Roundup director David Bell as being responsible for her break in television as a teenager. Bell had seen Lulu play in a club and arranged for her to come on the programme:
One of the segments was very much like Juke Box Jury — a successful show on the BBC. A panel reviewed the new pop singles being released that week, trying to spot possible hit records. Roundup used teenagers on the panel and David asked me if I'd take part. There were three of us reviewing the records. One of the teenagers was John Reid, who later went on to become Elton John's manager and have a long career in the music industry.
- Video: Beatles interview on Roundup (YouTube), April 1964.
- The Lost Beatles Interview - BBC Radio Documentary (YouTube)
- 'The Lost Beatles Interview', BBC Radio 4, 1 July 2009.
- TV listings, Evening Times, 5 May 1964, 8.
- Joe McKenzie, 'My view last night', Evening Times, 1 May 1964.
- 'Lost Beatles interview unearthed', BBC News, 30 June 2008.