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TV Pop Diaries
Pop Music on British Television 1955 - 1999

A weekday modern arts review show given the 11.15 pm time-slot after Newsnight. It was commissioned by BBC2's then controller and arts producer Alan Yentob and intended as a modern take take on the classic arts strand Late Night Line Up. Line Up had been brought back for a popular, but brief revival in late 1986 and probably suggested that a more permanent spot should be made for it, or at least a reboot.

Since The Old Grey Whistle Test had been packed away there would be no outlet for Q magazine flavoured rock music, despite its continued popularity. Channel 4 would give it some space on Big World Cafe and other short lived shows, but The Late Show would devote time several days a week to it.

The music industry spotted the show straight away and made some of their biggest names available like REM, The Stone Roses, PIL, Tom Petty, Elvis Costello, while occasionally experimenting by putting people like Philip Glass together with S Express. In addition they would give time over to contemporary jazz and country.

By the early nineties it was obvious that many people were only watching it for the music and in March 1990 they broadcast the first of several compilation of ‘just the music’. By late 1992 it was decided that a spin off show The Late Show: Later hosted by Jools Holland was launched.



16th January 1989 - 8th March 1995