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TV Pop Diaries
Pop Music on British Television 1955 - 1999

From TV Times "And welcome, gentle viewers. My name is Jonathan King. If you want to be groovy, and want to know why, if you want to be way out in advance, let me be your leader. Pops, films, theatre, books, politics even - it's all in here." Talking to the Melody Maker in September 1967 he claimed "There will be no on set format and there will be complete freedom to cover any subject. One issue could be devoted to pop in Britain, or it could be satirical or controversial. It's just designed to appeal to young people and it's going to be very challenging and exciting." The show's producer Tony Frith talking to the TV Times claimed "It's for people who have done the teenage bit and want a more analytical approach to the pop scene. We'll be taking a look at pop music, books, film and theatre. A lot of the time we shall be criticising. This is going to be something of a controversial show." King told Disc, a magazine for which he was a columnist "We want to show that in our young generation a lot of exciting things are going on. As far as pop side of things goes, we shall be looking for the new, talented names. For example, we'd only book people like the Vanilla Fudge."

This would be King's response to Simon Dee's Saturday early evening chat show which had started several months earlier on BBC1. In an NME interview King boasted of having no other writers, nor would he be using a teleprompter, claiming Dee had employed both. The show was recorded at ATV's Elstree studios, later home of The Muppets and EastEnders.

Declaring his intent to confuse and provoke his audience he included Yoko Ono on the first show, while The Jimi Hendrix Experience were to pop up on the second show, over a year before their more famous Saturday tea-time appearance on Lulu's show.

Other pop stars appeared, but not always playing live as expected, sometimes they were just there to chat to the host, like performer/composer Frank Zappa trying his best not to swear, while members of The Love Affair had admitted that, like The Monkees, they didn't play on their own records. It was King's desire to get something more controversial from his guests than just the expected PR script.

The show would become involved in the 'first play' exclusive controversy. Several shows like The Eamonn Andrews Show, The Frost Programme and Good Evening would only book a musical act if the song was being performed for the first time. King told Disc in November 1967 "We will not consider any artist for 'Good Evening' unless we get the first play of their record."

In Early 1968 ATV gave Good Evening a thirteen week extension and was awarded it's own spin-off show Follow-Through, hosted by journalist and script writer Michael Wale, which would take as its theme a controversial topic that had been raised in the show earlier that evening.

By late February 1968 Southern's Time For Blackburn had taken King's prized tea-time slot, so Good Evening was moved to a late night slot where it would stay for the next month until its demise. According to the NME New Release "...replaces Jonathan King's Good Evening which is being dropped."

King requested that ATV keep a few interview clips to be archived and these are available on-line.


ATV London

30th September 1967 - 30th March 1968