It’s Beáta Karda’s birthday today!
…so here is a selection of B.K. videos for the entertainment of GOTGE readers.
We start off with the one that initially attracted my attention back when I first discovered her back in January…shot on the beach and on board a yacht – probably, given the lack of a coastline in Hungary, on Lake Balaton, accompanied by the song ‘Szerelemről szóljon az ének’ (from 1976).
Only over this past couple of days or so has the following video from Valérie Čižmárová’s ‘Classic Year’ of 1973 come to light, Beáta’s ‘Jöjj és fogd a kezem’ (appreciably earlier than any B.K. material I have hitherto encountered) and a very good tune it is too, with a very Soulful lilt to it – lyrics and music by István S. Nagy and Gábor Németh.
Returning to later than 1976, we have ‘Különgép’ (music by Péter Gallai, lyrics by Lajos Som) from the following year. This is one of those videos from other artists from the time around when ‘Carene Cheryl’ became ‘Karen Cheryl’ that makes me think anew how sad it was that it was felt necessary to bring about such a root-and-branch transformation in the stage persona. A long blonde-haired singer still called ‘Carene Cheryl’ occasionally performing Disco tracks (but without the marketing of her as a ‘Disco Star’) could have worked. Oh, I do love the guitar work on this track, very reminiscent of (talking of French acts associated with Disco) The Gibson Brothers’ ‘Cuba’.
Now going back to 1976, we have had Saturday Night Telly from Hungary in 1978. Now we have some Friday Night Telly from 8.00 pm on 16th July of that year. This was a celebrity reality show, part of which (as another ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ series is about to start) makes one think that maybe Hungarian TV should be getting all the profits that BBC Worldwide is raking in from exporting the ‘SCD’ format to nations throughout the world, because Hungarian TV clearly thought of the idea of dancing celebrities a matter of nearly three decades beforehand. I think of it as ‘Strictly’ meets ‘Superstars’ meets ‘Celebrity Show Jumping’ (that has long been in many viewers’ fantasies) meets ‘Top Gear’ meets ‘It’s A Knockout’. The show was entitled ‘Nyári bolondságok’ (that I take to mean something like ‘Summer Madnesses’) and was presented by János Egri. The outline of the show was to take four towns/cities in Hungary and have a team of six hand-picked celebrities represent them in a series of comical challenges. The teams consisted of two Olympians, a female Continuity Announcer, a male Sports’ Presenter, a male Actor and finally a female Pop Star. Strangely, Beáta ends up not in the team of her home town of Győr, but that of Tatabánya, which must have been something of a conflict of interests!
Also in that show, Beáta performs the song, ‘Sohasem vigyáztam’ (music by László Pasztor, lyrics by István S. Nagy) .
Here is the team selection that resulted in Beáta being part of the Tatabánya team – Beáta appearing alongside fellow stars (from left to right) Zsuzsa Cserháti, Klári Katona and Kati Kovács, who also performed songs on the show.
Finally, here is the show in its entirety. This would have been considered some pretty inventive and anarchic TV in the UK at the time. That this was the product of a society in which one could not play a part in electing a government is an earth-shattering discovery. So, enjoy seeing teams of celebrities push-starting a Škoda Felicia in a bob sleigh-inspired challenge, celebrity show jumping, Continuity Announcers engaging in a tongue-twister challenge, celebrities dancing the Argentine Tango and the Shake (and numbered-paddle-wielding judges, to complete the ‘Strictly’ flavour !) and novelty relay races and much more!
Here are a few stills taken from the show of scenes where Beáta is featured, just to give GOTGE readers a sneak preview of the relevant parts, plus one of the Continuity Announcer, Gabriella Szádvári taking part in the ‘tongue-twister’.
British TV should consider importing a format like this. I think it should have quite a large audience!