The first installment of the Molly Meldrum mini-series aired on Sunday night, giving Australia a major throwback to the 70s and an intimate look at Meldrum’s early personal and professional life -- in particular, that infamous interview with Prince Charles.
It was 1977 when ABC’s 'Countdown' landed an exclusive with the heir to the throne which would go on to make television history as a stammering Meldrum just couldn’t get it together.
With Samuel Johnson playing a young Meldrum, the pivotal moment was recreated in an uncanny way as we see Meldrum swear his way through the segment.
“And now we come to the most important part of tonight’s program, in fact, the most important part of the program’s history,” Meldrum says before messing up the Prince Charles introduction.
After a second failed attempt, Meldrum nervously asks for “a drink of water please” before telling Charles he is “terribly sorry” in a polite, almost British accent.
Of course, the audience erupts with laughter as the camera pans to a rosy cheeked Charles who simply crosses his legs.
He then queries Meldrum on whether they use the teleprompters.
“No, we do not,” Meldrum replies.
The segment is riddled with flubs, with Meldrum dropping the F-bomb twice before being slapped on the shoulder by a producer telling him to get it together “Look around ya, familiar surroundings, right?!” he says, encouragingly.
The hilarious interview was revisited by Prince Charles himself for Countdown’s 40th birthday in 2014 (37 years after the interview took place) who recorded a special message to celebrate the milestone.
“There is an old show business saying that warns never to work with animals or children, but nobody prepared me for Molly Meldrum,” he said.
“It only seems like yesterday -- I wish it were tomorrow, I’d cancel it,” he said.
The Prince proves his sense of humour is very much in tact -- albeit 37 years later.
He admits he “certainly learnt some interesting Australian words from Mr Meldrum.”
“And if he could have read my mind he would have learnt some interesting new English words from me,” he said.
“It was an evening I will never forget and a special thank you to Molly Meldrum,” he said.
The second part to Channel 7’s mini-series airs next Sunday night.