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SOMETHING ELSE

BBC2
11th March 1978 pilot - 5th November 1982

Produced by the BBC Community Programme Unit, Something Else was a post punk version of A Whole Scene Going, but this time young people from the sixteen to twenty age group got to make the show themselves, choosing the topics for discussion.

As Radio Times explained "If you've ever felt that TV programmes for teenagers are made by professionals who only think they know what we want, then try Something Else, a programme made by the people who have to watch them!"

For the pilot show a production team of thirteen teenagers were chosen from the two thousand that had applied to the BBC Community Programme Unit. Broadcast in March 1978 it would included one of only two British television studio appearances by the usually TV reticent Clash. However, the show wasn't commissioned immediately and took nearly eighteen months for the first series to appear.

The shows in the first series appeared monthly, with each one broadcast from a different city with an appointed team of eight or nine people editing the show, choosing the guests and bands. Local bands would normally be the obvious choice, but every now and again popular post punk bands would play live. Each show would be repeated a few days' later.

Among the audience in the first series for a discussion on fashion was George O'Dowd, yet to re-Christen himself Boy George.

After a one-off in May 1980 the series came back for a second series in November 1980, but this time the show would be weekly, with no repeat.

One show from the third series would deviate from the norm as Paul Weller from The Jam was given the chance to make his own show, choosing inequality as his subject.

The fifth and final series in late 1982 may have done away with bands in some shows as it appears to have devoted each show to one topic. A series of Something Else Debates also appeared between the final two shows.

Topics ranging from unemployment, drugs, sexuality, family issues, to video games and nightlife were dealt with by the people who they affected and actively participated in, approached and made in a more mature fashion than the later "yoof" programming made by media professionals.

Sadly, the format of this show would later prove ripe for satire by the "better educated" writers of The Young Ones and Not The Nine O'Clock News.