During an appearance on Joss Stone’s A Cuppa Happy podcast, the songwriter claimed that it was Gorbachev who had put forward the theory to him in the Nineties.
“What Gorbachev was saying – it was Dallas, the TV show,” said Stewart. “Somebody managed to get a VHS to work and broadcast it to part of Russia and they thought, ‘Hang on, that’s how people live in America.’”
Dallas ran on CBS from 1978 to 1991. The hugely popular series told the story of The Ewings, a rich and feuding family, and their oil empire.
The 68-year-old claimed that Gorbachev had “said that [Dallas] had more effect – that half an hour – than anything else” on the fall of communism.
He explained further: “[Gorbachev] was saying what brought Russia down was they weren’t allowed to see any shows from anywhere. In the churches, they had giant blockers of signals so they’d only get fed the information from the government. People would go and try and crack open these blockers.”
Stewart told Stone: “My friend, him and his mate lay on their back and heard Radio Caroline for 15 minutes, and they heard The Beatles and another band and they were just lying on their back in a church just crying because they’d never heard anything like it.”