Pop stars turn on a spectacular show in the snow. By Ted Leane

Björn Ulvaeus, the chubby-faced member of ABBA who startled pop fans around the world by breaking with his wife earlier this year, hasn’t been moping in corners.

Within hours of meeting Boney M singer Liz Mitchell, Björn was dancing the lady’s feet off in a disco, followed in quick succession by a hand-holding session at a private party.

Björn and Liz hotly denied the inevitable romance rumours, but onlookers weren’t impressed. Estranged ex-wife Agnetha had no comment; she was too busy killing gossip about an affair she was supposed to be conducting with her and Björn’s psychiatrist.

The showbiz stars were thrown together when the greats of the entertainment world assembled at Leysin, a Swiss ski resort, to film a three-part TV spectacular.

The shows are costing $600,000 to produce, part of which will flow from the coffers of Australia’s 0-10 Network. As a result, we’ll be one of the first countries to see the fun.

The opener is entitled “ABBA In Switzerland”, and you can expect to see it this week.

In addition to the Scandinavian superstars, the first show highlights the talents of performers like Bryan Ferry and Kate Bush.

Disco In The Snow”, the second of the shows, features Boney M, The Jackson Five, Leif Garrett, Leo Sayer, among others.

Christmas In The Snow”, third and last show, combine the top-liners from the earlier productions. It is obviously intended for Yuletide viewing the 0-10 Network is certain to screen the program before the ratings period withers and dies.

Dame Edna Everage gets into the act. So do David Niven, Bonnie Tyler, Eruption, The Raes, First Edition…

The producer of this highly-priced entertainment package is BBC whizkid Michael Hurll. In addition to keeping his free-wheeling artists in line, Hurll has to contend with 19 trucks crammed with electronic equipment, 100 technicians, 45 back-up artists, and a 2000-seat circus tent.

He also had to keep a wary eye on people like ABBA manager Stig Andersson, who insists on nothing but the best for his boys and girls. And since he’s the boss of an outfit that made $14 million last year, what can you do but listen politely?

Leyish businessmen were delighted to be able to host proceedings. Publicity surrounding the influx of the stars led to a stampede of tourists, and record bookings in hotels and ski lodges.

Photos: (1) ABBA filming the Chiquitita video clip in the snow. Although some critics have claimed that internal friction has caused ABBA to lose some of their sparkle, there’s no danger of the group splitting up. The unusual setting of a Swiss ski resort helped showcase their still very obvious talents as professional artists. (2) Thrilling British songstress Kate Bush joins Scandinavian superstars ABBA in a top television spectacular filmed in Switzerland. (3) Liz Mitchell, Boney M vocalist, pictured at Leysin ski resort. (4) Bryan Ferry’s distinctive style is art of the costly snowcase. (5) It’s not too hard to see how the group Eruption got its name when you take a look at its female vocalist, Precious. Her stunning outfit gave the live audience in the 200-seat circus tent something worth erupting for when she appeared in the filmed ski-resort spectacular. Transcribed for ABBA World

Pix/People (Australia) · 5 July 1979 (Pages 20 & 21)


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