TV Pop Diaries

Popular Music on British Television

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3rd July 1976 - 11th December 1977

Granada current affairs presenter Tony Wilson had the idea to produce a late night music show similar to the Old Grey Whistle Test, but occasionally taking a less referential angle.

Wilson would be the host and producer and decided that each show would have slots for the tracks chosen like Opportunity Rocks for a new act, Pressed To Kill for the album of the week, As Time Goes By for a Granada archive clip, and Brain Damage for author Clive James to remark on aspects of the music business.

The thirty-minute show was only shown by Granada, ATV, Yorkshire late night Saturday and on London Weekend under their Rock Concert banner the following night. Despite the notoriety of The Sex Pistols appearance on the final show there was little to differentiate this first series from The Old Grey Whistle Test.

After their Lesser Free Trade Hall show in June The Sex Pistols were booked for the final show of the first season 28th August 1976 and thankfully gave the performance no one who turned in to see The Bowles Brothers were expecting.

A short follow-up season of So It Goes concerts began in April 1977.

The second series began 8th October 1977, now moved to Sunday night, but didn't give itself entirely over to punk as history has suggested. There were clips of Van Morrison and Sad Cafe in the first show for example. Practically all the features from the first series had been dropped in favour of more live clips recorded over the previous few weeks' at the Elizabethan Ballroom and The Electric Circus both in Manchester, Eric's in Liverpool and the Hope N Anchor in London. This fantastic footage of The Clash, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Elvis Costello, The Jam, Magazine and many others would fill many documentaries for decades to come.