Alie Sonneveldt

Multi-Coloured Swap Shop

Children, Swapping and Entertainment

A live broadcasted BBC children's program started in 1976 which evolved around swapping and got better known as ‘Swap Shop’.


Multi-Coloured Swap Shop - Presenters of the saturday morning children's show broadcasted between 1976 and 1982. Found here


Launched by the BBC during Saturday Mornings and presented by Noel Edmonds, Keith Chegwin, John Craven and Maggie Philbin.


A new, radical and interactive show which evolved around the notion of swapping. The original plan covered six episodes, but because of the huge success it got extended to a six year ongoing project.

The notion of swapping appeared in three different ways during the show. The first one was in combination with a newly discovered medium, the in-call in a television program, which was reason for a lot of excitement. Children could call during the broadcast with an object they wanted to swap and their wish of what they wanted in return. This way swaps were made during the show and the best ones got onto the board with top-ten swaps. The second part of the show was a real-life swapping market, the ‘Swaporama’, where children were meeting each other and swapped their belongings. A report of this was included in the show. The last swapping related part was the part where a celebrity came in and made a swap with the strangest possible object.

Swapping was the bigger theme, but the show was full of music, celebrity guests, competitions and cartoons. All the fun came to an end when the last show was broadcasted on March 27th 1982.


We see here that swapping is a very social activity which brings a positive experience. There is interaction between children, but also adults. Swapping makes use of a emotional value of certain objects, this is very much present in the way children swap, since they don't have money value in the back of their mind when swapping.