ABBA in Switzerland

Filmed Wednesday 14 February (skating scenes), actual 'show' filmed on Friday 16 February and the rest between Wednesday 14 & Sunday 18 February 1979  
Location Leysin, Switzerland (The ski-ing scenes were filmed 25 minutes away at Les Diablerettes. The ice-skating scenes were filmed at 9pm one evening at the Leysin village ice-rink.)
Broadcast Monday 16 April 1979, UK (7.45pm-8.30pm) & Sweden (at 6.30pm)
Repeated in the UK on 2nd December 1979 from 5.34pm and 6.28pm.
Saturday 3rd December 1983, Belgium (not Netherlands as previously updated) (at 8.15pm) (although am sure it was broadcast sooner that that originally)
30 September 1979, 8:00pm on CBC, Canada
The version broadcast in Australia left out the guest performances and only included Geoff Richer's First edition.
Released This programme (ABBA performances only excluding Eagle, the talking introductions and the other guests) was released on the Voulez Vous Deluxe Edition CD on 31 May 2010

Programme is also known in some regions as 'Snowtime Special'.  Producer Michael Hurll of the BBC. The programme was made in co-operation with many other worldwide TV companiesBoney M also did their own programme very similar to ABBA in Switzerland called Disco in the Snow.

Some regions have different guests - Ted Gardestad was a guest on the Swedish version for example. Another version has ice skater Denise Bilman

Backing musicians were Lasse Wellander, Ola Brunkert and Rutger Gunnarsson.

In the opening credits, it's always puzzled me why there is a still "photograph" taken of Björn, Frida and Agnetha but the "photograph taken" of Benny is from a 1978 studio session!

Geoff Richer's First Edition danced to "Jump Shout Boogie"
"Take A Chance On Me"
"The King Has Lost His Crown" (ALTERNATE MIX - the album version fades quicker, this is slightly longer)
GUEST - Roxy Music with "Dance Away"
"The Name Of The Game"
"Eagle" (with footage of balloon race and actor David Niven) introduced by introduced by Björn
"Mamma Mia" introduced by Frida
(Ted Gardestad singing "Take Me Back To Hollywood" in the Swedish version - introduced by Agnetha and Frida)
(Denise Bielman skating to "Money Money Money" in the ???? version - introduced by Björn)
"Hole In Your Soul"
"Kisses of Fire" (EARLY STRING MIX)
"Lovers (Live A Little Longer)"
GUEST - Kate Bush with "WOW"
"Does Your Mother Know" (EARLY VERSION)
"Thank You For The Music"

At the ice rink, Benny and Frida enjoyed themselves so much that they carried on skating after the cameras had stopped rolling at such a pace that Frida fell over occasionally.  See the clip of ABBA skating here

Tickets for the show had been distributed months earlier to the local community of Leysin. Due to the power of word of mouth, many more than the allotted 2,500 people turned up on the night of the show in the Big Top.  Most of them got in  and there was standing room only in the aisles.

The programme was produced by Michael Hurll who died in September 2012.

Here's an interesting video on YouTube showing the introductions of the various versions:
1. general release
2. Scandinavian countries only (Ted Gardestad)
3. DVD version (ie. no guests)

                                   Opening                                                                  "Take A Chance On Me"                                    "The King Has Lost His Crown"

(The Name of The Game/Mamma Mia/Hole In Your Soul)                            "Eagle"                                          Ted - "Take Me Back to Hollywood"


                                       "Kisses of Fire"                                     "Lovers (Live a Little Longer)"                                                    "Chiquitita"
   "Does Your Mother Know"             "Thank You For The Music"

Duration just under 1 hour
Watch Out For Frida fluffing her lines at the end of "Take A Chance On Me"
Agnetha's face when she hears someone cry out from the audience at the comment about the long, dark nights in Sweden.
Agnetha in "Lovers (Live A Little Longer)" - she CLEARLY mimes "I'm exploding" ;-)
In "Does Your Mother Know", watch Frida and Björn's gestures to someone off stage just before the start of the second verse.
Benny forgetting to start playing his keyboards after the accapella intro of "Take A Chance On Me". He's so carried away - then he suddenly realises, but he's a bit late. Obviously the song is playback.
Lyrics Click on song title for the lyrics: Take A Chance On Me; The King Has Lost His Crown; The Name of The Game; Eagle; Mamma Mia; Hole in Your Soul; Kisses of Fire; Lovers (Live A Little Longer); Chiquitita; Does Your Mother Know and Thank You For the Music
Pictures Click on image for a larger view (or to expand on a song):

Related Links  
Credits Information from ABBA Magazine Nos.13 and 14.
Thanks to Jun Seo, Walter Veldman, Alexei Zviaguintsev, Philippe Dupont, Richard Knight, Julian D, Robin Andersson and Malin Westerberg for Swedish broadcast information
Thanks to Daniel and Richard Knight for other information.  Thanks to Ian Cole and Ken Griffin c/o ABBAMAIL and Jason Swan c/o ABBA Village
YouTube clips c/o abbafan09, qmebtcsamy, morsayo, fridnetha, kamy876, thecardigan, say3words, AbbaFanSouth, and ABBABACK2BACK