In February 1976 it was announced that Abba would travel to Australia in March to film a special for the music program Bandstand. It was reported that Abba were paid $100,000, Channel 9 reportedly outbidding television companies from Germany and France for the privilege. 

The special ties in with the compilation album The Best Of ABBA, which lent its name to the special. The special was also to be sold to overseas television companies for screening and re titled ‘ABBA Down Under’.




Thursday 4 March

Arrive at Sydney Airport


Friday 5 March

Press conference & gold record presentation, radio/TV interviews: Sydney Hilton Hotel

Interview and ‘Fernando’ clip shown on A Current Affair


Saturday 6 March/Sunday 7 March

Hawkesbury River cruise, barbecue and boomerang throwing/Sydney Harbour cruise/Taronga Zoo visit

Cruising on the Hawkesbury River


Monday 8 March

‘Fernando’ single released

Travel to Melbourne

Rehearsal and appearance on The Don Lane Show - performed ‘Fernando’


Tuesday 9 March

Fly back to Sydney

Filming at Channel 9 Studios, Sydney **


Wednesday 10 March/Thursday 11 March

Filming at Channel 9 Studios, Sydney **

** filming included work on the TV special, an extra performance of ‘Mamma Mia’ for Bandstand, Guest spot on Celebrity Squares, and a special performance of ‘Dancing Queen’ (As yet Unreleased new track) on a closed set for later broadcast


Friday 12 March

Filming special at Channel 9 Studios, Sydney with studio audience


Saturday 13 March

Depart Sydney

‘Mamma Mia’ performance shown on Bandstand in Capital cities and some some rural areas


Sunday 14 March

Arrive back in Sweden


Saturday 20 March

TV Special The Best Of ABBA first broadcast in capital cities. ’Mamma Mia’ performance shown on Bandstand in some regional centres


Saturday 27 March

Special The Best Of ABBA first broadcast in regional centres


Appearance on Celebrity Squares broadcast 


‘Dancing Queen’ clip filmed in Sydney first shown on Bandstand 

as a world Exclusive!


The Best Of ABBA was the highest rating show ever on Australian television to date. Newspapers reporting that it had out-rated the moon landing of July 1969! It went on to be repeated many times, also to high ratings, and was followed by  an edited half hour format. In the special ABBA perform eight songs from The Best Of ABBA LP, which included all of their hits to date, plus both sides of the newest single, ‘Fernando’/‘Tropical Loveland’, which was released the first week that ABBA were in Australia.

Due to Australian content requirements, ABBA are seen with three Australian backing musicians. Also country singer Lucky Starr appeared as special guest star and had two songs in the middle of the special, plus a short chat with Björn and Benny.

 In the overseas version of the special they are also seen having a barbecue and cruise on the Hawkesbury River, and all the introductions between songs were filmed then or at Taronga Zoo.

Channel 9 Australia 1976 first broadcast Saturday 20 March 1976

Introduction to the show by host Daryl Somers

Mamma Mia

Introduction by Björn; Frida, Agnetha and Benny introduce themselves

Hasta Mañana

commercial break

Ring Ring

Introduction by Frida

Tropical Loveland

Introduction by Agnetha


commercial break

I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do

Introduction by Agnetha and Frida

Rock Me

commercial break

song by guest Lucky Starr

Interview with Lucky Starr, Björn and Benny

song by Lucky Starr

commercial break

Honey, Honey

Introduction by Frida


commercial break

So Long

Introduction by Benny


So Long

closing credits, medley of clips from special: Mamma Mia; Ring Ring; Waterloo; I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do; Honey, Honey; Rock Me; Fernando; SOS





Dates shown are known broadcast dates in most capital cities. Some appearances were shown at a later date or not at all in other regions.

A Current Affair, Channel 9: interview and ‘Fernando’ clip shown, Friday March 5

The Don Lane Show, Channel 9: interview with host and performed ‘Fernando’ and 'SOS',

The special performance of ‘Dancing Queen’ was first shown on Bandstand in August 1976, after the single had been released. It was shown several times while the single was in the top 40, and was also included in the version of the special (retitled ABBA in Australia) sold to overseas television stations.