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TV Pop Diaries
Pop Music on British Television 1955 - 1999

A Pop Quiz style show, made by the same production team as the successful sports quiz They Think It’s All Over. The mid-nineties media shift towards ‘new lad / new girl’ saw a new breed of commissions like Men Behaving Badly, They Think It’s All Over, The Girlie Show, Fantasy Football League and TFI Friday among others. The media's belief that “comedy was the new rock n roll” meant that a new comedy-based pop show was inevitable. A Brit Pop style quiz show would tick all the boxes.

The chosen host was stand-up comic and poet Mark Lamarr, late of The Word and Shooting Stars, while regular captains were comedy actor Sean Hughes and ex-record producer and DJ Phill Jupitus. The rest of the panel would be filled by pop stars and at least one other comedian. The show proved so popular that the initial first series of six was expanded by another four in the new year schedules, plus a compilation show.

Regular features were the misheard lyrics round, the identity parade where a ex-chart pop star would have to be singled out by by panels from a line of look-a-likes, the “what happened next” video clip etc. The show format was later sold to the USA and other countries.

Sean Hughes would leave the show and his role would eventually be taken over by Bill Bailey, then Noel Fielding from The Mighty Boosh.

Host Lamarr left in 2005, and comedian Simon Amstell took over, followed by a succession of guest presenters until the show's de-commission almost twenty years after its debut.


BBC1 / Talkback

12th November 1996 - 15th January 2015