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Our involvement with the programme started in late September 2006 when we were approached by Unique Television, with complete secrecy, telling us about the programme that they were producing. They were interested in us making a contribution to the programme and providing some publicity.
By the time that we met with Fiona Clark (Producer), Mike Brosnan (Executive Producer) and Chris Bellinger (Programme Consultant) at the Unique Television offices in October, our involvement had slightly changed path. We were asked if we could provide a sub-site of Saturday Mornings not only to promote the programme, but to also to act as a means for people to contact the production team about such things as memories of the Saturday morning shows and the stories behind their appearances on them.
The shell of the sub-site was in place within a few days, and the text content and layout for the contact pages were supplied by Unique Television the following week along with a number of images that were used to brighten up the pages.
We were nearly caught out by the press release on 26 October being made a good few hours earlier than planned, but within 15 minutes of receiving a phone call from Fiona Clark the It Started With Swap Shop sub-site was up and running and registering page hits. The main Saturday Mornings site was also swamped with visitors - the equivalent of 36 times the normal daily page impressions were made in 9 hours, and since the average daily traffic has more than doubled.
Emails and phone calls continued until the recording date as additional features for the site were put in place to get some pictures sent in for the set and to collate the data to compile the Top Ten Lists.
A week after the recording, we received a unexpected large package in the post. This turned out to be from the Unique Television production team and it contained all ten of the 'offers/wants' Top Ten Swap cards that were displayed on the Top Ten Board at the beginning of the programme. A fine memento of our involvement.
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It Started With Swap Shop a Unique TV production for BBC TWO