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TV Pop Diaries
Pop Music on British Television 1955 - 1999

One of the last great tea-time pop shows, recorded in Newcastle and networked across ITV from the beginning. Tyne Tees had already begun to make a significant name for itself in pop with local shows like The Geordie Scene, Check It Out and Alright Now, but the national network was the target for this outing.

The show was hosted by its editor Alistair Pirrie who had among his various female co-hosts over the years the then fourteen year old Lisa Stansfield. The show went the way of Cheggars Plays Pop, with games like the Runaround-ish Popscotch, while Pirrie had Tiswas plainly in his sights with by using gunge and bad jokes. It seemed a bit contrived, but still fun. The audience, like Tiswas, was scattered around the set, not behind the camera like Crackerjack.

Ray Jackson of Lindisfarne wrote the theme tune and appeared in the first series. Interviews and items on movies, musicals and dance were also regularly featured to break up the music and fill time. Also in the first series famous musicians like Ray Cooper, Rick Wakeman and Hank Marvin would come in and demonstrate instruments, while Kate Bush even came in with various props from her videos.

The show had outdoor location numbers as well as indoor clips, either straight performance shots like Top Of The Pops, or little video-ettes with a few visual effects.

The show started off courting anyone who had a record to plug, many from the mid-seventies, but eventually it managed to persuade the likes of Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger and Kate Bush to either make an appearance, or at least make a contribution. It would also later on in its run gave valuable airtime to foreign acts who wouldn’t get a chance on Top Of The Pops like Rick Springfield, Inxs and Berlin. In 1983 they even gave space for the not very up and coming Seona Dancing, a late blooming New Romantic act featuring singer Ricky Gervais.

In 1985 Capital Radio disc jockey Dave Jensen took over the host's job, but the show format remained the same with guest celebrity hosts, an interview or two and four or five acts appearing live (although miming). As the show became more popular the promo clips were dropped to make room for more live appearances.

The series was dropped by Tyne Tees so they could devote more time to developing a early evening pop show based on the ILR top forty. It would be remembered for taking more chances than most pop shows and was much respected and sadly, one of the last of its kind.


Tyne Tees

2nd June 1981 - 2nd January 1987