Molly Meldrum and his royal faux pas

Media release: Saturday, 15 March 2008

A limited edition LP, Silver Jubilee Australian Top 20 has been selected by the National Archives of Australia as its February Find of the Month, not only for its royal significance but also because of a faux pas by Countdown presenter Molly Meldrum.

Released in 1977 to celebrate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's 25-year-reign, proceeds of the sale of the album went to the Queen's Silver Jubilee Appeal for Young Australians.

'The proceeds were distributed in the form of grants for young Australians, with Prince Charles as patron of the appeal,' said Director-General of the National Archives, Mr Ross Gibbs.

The album was launched by Prince Charles on the popular ABC TV program, Countdown. While the prince's interview with Molly was pre-recorded Molly's nervous errors still made it to air and have since become a memorable TV moment.

In the interview Meldrum made continual nervous errors and, when lost for words referred to the Queen as Charles' 'mum', to which Prince Charles replied 'You mean Her Majesty the Queen…'

The inside of the Silver Jubilee Australian Top 20 record cover features a 'Sergeant Pepper-style' collage of stars of the 1970s including Sherbet, Skyhooks, Little River Band, Dragon, Air Supply, Ariel, Supernaut, Hush, Ferrets, Flash in the Pan, Ol' 55, AC/DC, John Paul Young, Mark Holden, Marty Rhone, Richard Clapton, Marcia Hines, Renee Geyer, Jon English and the Ted Mulry Gang.

'The Australian record industry collaborated to produce the album. Several record companies and all the artists, song writers and publishers involved donated their contributions to the Queen's Silver Jubilee Appeal for Young Australians', Mr Gibbs said.

The February Find of the Month can be viewed on the National Archives website or you can see the original by visiting the National Archives in Canberra, Queen Victoria Terrace, Parkes.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2017