Television: Blackpool Night Out

The Beatles made just one television appearance in Britain to promote the Help! album; other shows had to run pre-recorded clips instead.

Blackpool Night Out was made by ABC TV, and was filmed at the ABC Theatre in Blackpool. It was shown by all but one of the ITV companies across the UK, in a live broadcast between 9.10pm and 10.05pm.

The Beatles performed ‘I Feel Fine’, ‘I’m Down’, ‘Act Naturally’, and ‘Ticket To Ride’, before Paul McCartney sang ‘Yesterday’ on his own. It was the first time the song had been performed on British television.

The group closed with ‘Help!’, following John Lennon’s tongue-in-cheek announcement to McCartney: “Thank you Ringo, that was wonderful”.

The full show is believed to be lost, but the audio survives.

The other guests on the show were Pearl Carr and Teddy Johnson, Johnny Hart, and Lionel Blair. The compères were Mike and Bernie Winters. After the show Ringo Starr and Brian Epstein flew back to London, while the other Beatles were driven in their Rolls-Royce.

Epstein’s decision to grant just one UK television appearance to promote the Help! single drew much criticism in the press. The Beatles had steadily reduced the amount of promotion undertaken throughout 1964 and 1965.

Four songs from Blackpool Night Out – ‘I Feel Fine’, ‘Ticket To Ride’, ‘Yesterday’, and ‘Help!’ – appeared on Anthology 2 in 1996.

Last updated: 13 September 2020
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UK album release: Help!
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