How rad was Saturday mornings!?
Written by Ryan Stevenson on 26 January 2021
Australians couldn’t get enough of Video Hits after it had premiered on February 15 1987 on Channel Ten as they had enjoyed the show for twenty-five seasons.
The arrival of Video Hits on Australian TV was the dawn of a new generation of music shows as Video Hits and Rage both launched in 1987 while the iconic shows Sounds and Countdown both ended their long runs that same year after more than a decade on air.
Video Hits played the hottest songs that were on the charts at the time, originally they played the Top 40 then the Top 30, Top 20 and finally the Top 10 during their run.
They even had an Interactive Top 10 for a couple of years but it had encountered problems such as claims of vote rigging as one Australian artist managed to hold onto a spot in the Top 5 for six months despite their song not doing well in stores or on radio.
The classic Video Hits era was from 1987 to 2004, there were no hosts, no guests, just music and the occasional competition ad where you had to call a number for your chance to win something cool.
It was great to be a music fan when Rage and Video Hits were both on, you could spend all of the early hours of Saturday morning watching Rage, maybe take a break for an hour or two around 7am and then start watching Video Hits which would take you through to lunchtime and soon you’re ready to do it again the next day.
In the latter years of the show, Video Hits fans also had the choice of Video Hits First, Video Hits Uplate, Video Hits Uncut and Video Hits Presents with each of the shows offering something different in content, running time and when it was on.
From 2004 onwards, the show started to change starting with having hosts on the show after seventeen years.
Former Australian Idol contestants Kelly Cavuoto and Axel Whitehead were the original hosts, Kelly was the first to go in late 2004 and Axel left in 2006 after exposing himself at the ARIA Awards which may be the most memorable thing about the history of the whole awards.
Faustina ‘Fuzzy’ Agolley was on the show and/or on Video Hits First from 2006 to 2011 and her co-hosts were Nathan Sapsford (2007-09), Hayden Guppy (2009) and Dylan Lewis (2010-11).
Channel Ten was undergoing major restructuring in 2011 and it was announced in July 2011 that Video Hits was a major casualty of the changes, the end came on August 6 2011 with Coldplay having the honour of the last music video with “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall”.
Video Hits may be gone but it lives on the memories of the millions who watched it and the memories are further improved by the twenty compilation albums and the five DVD releases people can buy and enjoy, compilations that can bring people back to their childhood or their teenage years or they can be a journey through the changes in popular music as the show went from the late 80’s to through the 90’s, the 00’s and the beginning years of the 2010’s.
To end this story perfectly, the closing titles to the Top 20 Countdown is below, I hope that you the reader enjoyed this story about Video Hits.