Around 100 master tapes of this series from its early seasons (1974-1978) were erased by the Australian Broadcasting Commission. Only the efforts of Paul Drane and director Ted Emery, who, on hearing of the erasure, snuck in during the middle of the night and hid as many tapes as they could in their cars, prevented all of the tapes from this period being erased. Among the tapes they saved was the March 1975 episode that was the first to be broadcast in colour.
The concept behind 'Countdown' was developed between ABC executive producer of light entertainment Michael Shrimpton, and former Kommotion director Rob Weekes over lunch at the Botanical Hotel in South Yarra, Victoria. They needed a talent scout in touch with teen music - 'Go-Set' journalist Ian 'Molly' Meldrum just happened to walk into the hotel looking to buy a bottle of Scotch, and the rest is history.
'Countdown' was the first television programme to break ABBA into Australia. Ian 'Molly' Meldrum insisted the video clip to "Mama Mia" be played even though it was at that stage not released as a single in the country and ABBA was still a relatively unknown group.